October 9th, 2022 • 3h 3m
Every new episode of No Agenda is accompanied by a comprehensive list of shownotes curated by Adam while preparing for the show. Clips played by the hosts during the show can also be found here.
Ukraine & Russia
All NATO and other countries on the Baltic sea have listening buoys and sonar all over since the cold war. If the Russians did it, they'd have shitloads of evidence of every ship traversing the sea at the time.
Ukraine Call with PM Nestor Shufrych and Yulia Tymoshenko
"Imagine you live in eastern Ukraine and you listen to this leaked phone call by the former Prime Minister of Ukraine saying: “They must be killed with nuclear weapons.” Would you have voted to join Russia or would you have remained with Ukraine? https://t.co/T5NSeeSfnQ" / Twitter
Our Democracy - UK & NL
The super-rich ‘preppers’ planning to save themselves from the apocalypse | The super-rich | The Guardian
The Scam is Clean Hydrogen
BLM LGBBTQQIAPPK+ Noodle Boy
People believe they've found moment professional poker player allegedly cheated in high-stakes match
Deep State Surveillance
Ministry of Truthiness
People believe they've found moment professional poker player allegedly cheated in high-stakes match
Sun, 09 Oct 2022 16:39
By Callum Jones
Poker fans believe they may have spotted the moment a professional player allegedly used a 'vibrating ring' to cheat in a high-stakes table match. You can watch it here:
The player under the spotlight is Robbi Jade Lew, a newcomer to the sport, who stunned the poker world on Thursday (29 September).
Her rival Garrett Adelstein said he was 'clearly cheated', while it's been suggested Lew was using a hidden device that vibrates to indicate who has the best hand.
Eagle-eyed fans believe they may have spotted the moment that leads to a key clue in the potential cheating scandal.
As the hole cards were revealed, the game took a serious turn as the banter between the pair made an abrupt end.
Adelstein stared silently at Lew for upwards of a minute, with one commentator saying: "It's literally the most disturbed look I've ever seen Garrett give."
Viewers said that Lew became visibly uncomfortable at this point, as she began to fiddle with the rings on her right hand, which included a distinctive red stone on her middle finger.
Just seconds later, after she placed her hand below the table, Lew's ring was no longer visible after she either rotated it or slipped it off.
During the hand, Lew was holding offsuit Jack-four in the hole, with Adelstein holding the seven and eight of clubs.
The flop came out 10 of hearts, 10 of clubs, nine of clubs, this meant that Adelstein needed any club, jack, or six to achieve a flush or straight for an almost certain win.
Lew called Adelstein for a $2,500 bet, with that turn bringing the three of hearts, which was no help to either player.
Adelstein then went all-in for for $129,000, with a 53 percent change of winning, according to live odds from the broadcast.
Lew's next move stunned the announcers after she called the all-in bet, eventually her Jack-high won the pot.
Lew has reiterated that she did not cheat and has said that she mis-remembered her low hole card as a three, believing the turn gave her a pair of threes.
However, it was later revealed that Lew returned the money she won to Adelstein, which may prove to only fuel any suspicions against the poker player.
Strokes, heart attacks, sudden death: Does America understand the long-term risks of catching COVID? | Fortune
Sun, 09 Oct 2022 16:35
A 35-year-old acquaintance drops dead from a hemorrhagic stroke. A friend in her 40s, and another in his 70s, experience recurrent spells of extreme dizziness, their hearts pounding in their chests when they stand. A 21-year-old student with no prior medical history is admitted to the ICU with heart failure, while a 48-year-old avid tennis player, previously healthy, suddenly suffers a heart attack. A relative is diagnosed with pericarditis, an inflammation of the protective sac surrounding the heart.
I can't confirm the exact etiology of all these cases. But every one of the people I mentioned had a history of COVID either days or months beforehand''and all of them experienced only mild cases of infection at the time.
Is it possible, despite everything we know, that we still underestimate COVID's reach and danger? It is not normal for me to know so many people with severe conditions. Not normal at all.
Lengthy social media threads have begun compiling lists of people much like those mentioned above, and while there are many possible causes for their health misfortunes, the sheer volume of cases speaks to something more worrisome than just a Twitter phenomenon.
A large international study involving 136 research institutions in 32 countries has documented an increased incidence of ischemic strokes in young patients compared to pre-pandemic levels. More than a third were under the age of 55, and many lacked typical risk factors such as smoking, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Is COVID the reason?In a study that included patients from the initial wave of the pandemic, scientists from the University of Florida found that survivors of severe COVID-19 had two-and-a-half times the risk of dying in the year following illness compared to people who were never infected. Of note, nearly 80% of downstream deaths were not due to typical COVID complications like acute respiratory distress or cardiac causes.
''The results suggest that a severe impact of COVID-19 exists beyond the cost and suffering of the initial hospitalization,'' says Arch Mainous, one of the study's authors.
How vaccinated patients have faredIn a huge analysis of more than 30,000 vaccinated patients who had experienced COVID breakthrough infections (pre-Omicron), scientists found that six months later, even the vaccinated incurred a higher risk of death and debilitating long COVID symptoms involving multiple organs (the lungs, heart, kidney, brain, and others) when compared to controls without evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Even the fittest are not immune. Researchers have noted a troubling pattern of sudden cardiac death in athletes in the wake of the pandemic, owing possibly to COVID-related heart complications''myocarditis and pericarditis. The Arizona Cardinals football lineman J.J. Watt recently disclosed that he had an episode of atrial fibrillation and while there are many possible causes of AFib, it's notable that Watt was diagnosed with COVID-19 just about six weeks prior. Atrial fibrillation has long been associated with COVID.
COVID reinfectionsIn a non-peer-reviewed study, Ziyad Al-Aly from the Washington University School of Medicine and his team analyzed the health records of 38,000 people with COVID reinfections. Compared to individuals with a single infection, researchers found that these reinfected individuals had higher risks of mortality, hospitalization, and adverse health outcomes in multiple organs.
These risks were present regardless of vaccination status. Every infection added increased risk for both acute and long-term complications.
We're still learning how pervasive this all is. An analysis of more than 150,000 COVID-19 survivors published in Nature Medicine found that people with coronavirus are at increased risk of developing neurologic sequelae''including strokes, cognition and memory problems, seizures, movement disorders, and many other issues''in the first year after infection. The risks of developing these long-term complications were apparent even in people who did not require hospitalization during their initial infection.
''The results show the profound long-term consequences of COVID-19,'' Al-Aly told me. ''Some of these will scar people for a lifetime.''
According to the researcher's estimate, COVID is responsible for more than 40 million new neurologic cases. A key caveat: The study period mostly predated vaccines. However, Al-Aly says, ''We know that vaccines minimally reduce and do not eliminate long COVID risk.'' Indeed, a large study found that vaccines were only about 15% effective at preventing long COVID.
No age group is reliably safeSignificantly, the risk of some of these complications is stronger in younger adults. At the other end of the spectrum, a huge study found that COVID-19 increased the risk of developing Alzheimer's in those 65 and older by 50% to 80%''and that was in people with no previous diagnosis.
Researchers believe that COVID-19 infection induces a prothrombotic and proinflammatory state, which may increase the risk of blood clots. In a cohort study of 48 million adults in England and Wales just published, COVID-19 was linked with dramatic increases in both arterial clots (these cause strokes and heart attacks) and venous thromboembolism (these are blood clots in the lungs and legs, among other places).
Clearly, we are still in the clutches of the virus, and some of the outcomes are frightening. A study that included data from over a million pediatric patients found that adolescents ages 18 and younger had a 72% increased risk of developing Type 1 diabetes in the six months following their COVID infection. That risk isn't limited to children; it's being seen in adults, too.
A nightmare scenario? A mild COVID case that leads to life-long diabetes. But rather than continue to beat the drum for caution, most cities, governments, and even the CDC are loosening restrictions when it comes to COVID precautions.
America needs to wake up''now. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey shows that two thirds of U.S. adults have no intention of getting the updated booster shots anytime soon, yet rampant breakthrough infections and more immune-evading variants are on the horizon.
''The degree of immune escape and evasion is amazing right now, crazy,'' Yunlong Richard Cao, an immunologist at Peking University in Beijing told Nature a few days ago. In a preprint, which has not been peer-reviewed, Cao et al. found that new subvariants like BQ.1.1, CA.1, and especially XBB, are the most antibody-evasive strains to date. ''These results suggest that current herd immunity and BA.5 vaccine boosters may not provide sufficiently broad protection against infection,'' they wrote.
In our country, 300 to 400 COVID deaths are already occurring every day. Cases are rising in some European countries such as France, Germany, Italy and Belgium. ''We are clearly at the start of a winter [COVID-19] wave,'' said Karl Lauterbach, Germany's federal minister of health, in a press briefing. Germany has just implemented new rules requiring mask-wearing on trains, local buses, as well as in hospitals, nursing homes, and doctors' offices.
The road ahead is going to be rough until we can develop a variant-proof vaccine, approve nasal vaccines to help block infection at the port of entry and reduce transmission, and develop better treatments. As the virus becomes more immune-evasive, our arsenal is shrinking, not expanding, despite what the CDC and political leaders may claim. The monoclonal antibody strategy, for instance, proved ineffective as the virus outsmarted us and kept evolving, rapidly rendering many monoclonal therapies obsolete shortly after they were approved.
We have plenty still to understand about long COVID, particularly in the vaccinated population, but Al-Aly estimates that 8% to 12% of vaccinated people with breakthrough infections may die due to long COVID. Around the world, an estimated 145 million people are suffering from the condition, cases of which rose more than 300% in 2021.
We need to do a much better job preventing mass infections and reinfections, fast-tracking research, funding new treatments for victims, and developing a coordinated response, both nationally and internationally. Producing universal coronavirus and nasal vaccines and drugs to minimize long COVID risk is a top priority. As Al-Aly puts it, ''We need ambitious policies to get ahead of this virus and the pandemic.''
As a country, we're clearly tired of masking, boosting, and COVIDing in general. But as exhausting as this march has already been, we're nowhere near the finish line. We must stop pretending otherwise.
Carolyn Barber, M.D. has been an emergency department physician for 25 years. Author of the book Runaway Medicine: What You Don't Know May Kill You, she has written extensively about COVID-19 for national publications, including Fortune. Barber is co-founder of the California-based homeless work program Wheels of Change.
The opinions expressed in Fortune.com commentary pieces are solely the views of their authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and beliefs of Fortune.
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Musk must complete Twitter deal by Oct. 28 to avoid trial, judge rules
Sun, 09 Oct 2022 16:34
A Delaware Chancery Court judge ruled Thursday that Elon Musk has until Oct. 28 to close his acquisition of Twitter if he wants to avoid a trial, granting Musk a slight delay.
Earlier in the day, the Telsa CEO said he wanted to return to his original agreement to buy Twitter for $54.20 a share, and asked the social media company to end all litigation in order to close the deal. Twitter refused to oblige.
In a filing with Delaware's Court of Chancery on Thursday, Musk's side said Twitter should drop the court date scheduled for Oct. 17, so that the necessary financing can be pulled together to wrap up the acquisition by Oct. 28.
"Twitter will not take yes for an answer," the filing says. "Astonishingly, they have insisted on proceeding with this litigation, recklessly putting the deal at risk and gambling with their stockholders' interests." Musk argued that the trial would distract his team from securing the financing necessary to close the deal.
In this photo illustration, the image of Elon Musk is displayed on a computer screen and the logo of twitter on a mobile phone in Ankara, Turkiye on October 06, 2022.
Muhammed Selim Korkutata | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
In a filing later on Thursday, Twitter responded by saying that Musk and his legal team are being disingenuous. Only days before a trial was to commence, Musk's team suddenly declares "they intend to close after all," the lawyers wrote.
"'Trust us,' they say, 'we mean it this time,' and so they ask to be relieved from a reckoning on the merits," Twitter's side said. "To justify that relief, they propose an order that allows them an indefinite time to close on the basis of a conditional withdrawal of their unlawful notices of termination coupled with an explicit reservation of all 'claims and defenses in the event a closing does not occur.'"The Twitter lawyers added that Musk's "proposal is an invitation to further mischief and delay."
Twitter sued Musk in July to try and force the world's richest person to stick to his purchase agreement, which was signed in April. Musk appeared ready to take the case to court, as legions of his text messages were released in preliminary filings.
While Twitter shareholders, at the company's recommendation, agreed to Musk's purchase price in September, Twitter may now be reluctant to walk away from its lawsuit without certainty that all the financing is available to close the deal.
Morgan Stanley and Bank of America are among the banks that originally agreed to provide $12.5 billion in debt for Musk. Since then the markets have tanked, particularly for risky tech assets.
Musk's attorneys said that "By far the most likely possibility is that the debt is funded in which case the deal will close on or around October 28." The lawyers added that "counsel for the debt financing parties has advised that each of their clients is prepared to honor its obligations under the Bank Debt Commitment Letter on the terms and subject to satisfaction of the conditions set forth therein."
Twitter said in the legal filing that the Musk parties "should be arranging to close on Monday, October 10," but is instead refusing to "commit to any closing date."
"They ask for an open-ended out, at the expense of Twitter's stockholders (who are owed $44 billion plus interest), all the while remaining free to change their minds again or to invent new grounds to avoid the contract '[w]ithout any admission of liability and without waiver of or prejudice to [their] claims and defenses,'" the attorneys wrote.
The Twitter lawyers also alleged that earlier in the day, an unnamed corporate representative of one of the leading banks involved in the deal "testified that Mr. Musk has yet to send them a borrowing notice and has not otherwise communicated to them that he intends to close the transaction, letalone on any particular timeline."
"The bank further testified that the main task necessary to close the deal '--memorializing the debt financing '-- could have happened in July but didn't because Mr. Musk purported to terminate the deal," the Twitter attorneys added.
Earlier this week, Twitter acknowledged that it had received the letter from Musk and his attorneys in which they expressed their wish to buy Twitter for the original agreed-upon price. Twitter said in a response to the letter that "The intention of the Company is to close the transaction at $54.20 per share." However, this is the first time since then that Twitter has commented on the litigation.
WATCH: Musk team wants trial suspended pending deal closing
Jobs report September 2022:
Sun, 09 Oct 2022 16:29
Job growth fell just short of expectations in September and the unemployment rate declined despite efforts by the Federal Reserve to slow the economy, the Labor Department reported Friday.
Nonfarm payrolls increased 263,000 for the month, compared with the Dow Jones estimate of 275,000.
The unemployment rate was 3.5% versus the forecast of 3.7% as the labor force participation rate edged lower to 62.3% and the size of the labor force decreased by 57,000. A more encompassing measure that includes discouraged workers and those holding part-time jobs for economic reasons saw an even sharper decline, to 6.7% from 7%.
September's payroll figure marked a deceleration from the 315,000 gain in August and tied for the lowest monthly increase since April 2021.
"Depending on your view of optimism vs. pessimism, on the economy, there's a little bit of something for everyone in this report," said Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab. "Obviously, the market is not happy, but the market is not happy in general these days."
Stock market futures moved lower after the release while government bond yields rose. Investors were looking at the numbers for an indication of how the Federal Reserve will react as it tries to tamp down inflation.
"This puts the nail in the coffin for another 75 [basis point rate increase] in November," said Jeffrey Roach, chief economist at LPL Financial. A basis point is 0.01 percentage point.
In the closely watched wage numbers, average hourly earnings rose 0.3% on the month, in line with estimates, and 5% from a year ago, an increase that is still well above the pre-pandemic norm but 0.1 percentage point below the forecast.
From a sector view, leisure and hospitality led the gains with an increase of 83,000, a rise that still left the industry 1.1 million jobs short of its February 2020 pre-pandemic levels.
Elsewhere, health care added 60,000, professional and business services rose 46,000 and manufacturing contributed 22,000. Construction was up 19,000 and wholesale trade climbed 11,000.
A drop of 25,000 in government jobs was a big contributor to the report missing expectations. Hiring at the state and local level is highly seasonal, so the decline points to a report that otherwise was largely in line with expectations and shows a resilient jobs market.
Also on the negative side, financial activities and transportation and warehousing both saw losses of 8,000 jobs.
The report "really just shows that the consumer and corporate side have been very resilient despite the headwinds of the Russia-Ukraine war, rising interest rates and slowing housing market," Roach said. "It could add to the story of a soft landing [for the economy] that for a while seemed fairly elusive."
The report comes amid a monthslong Fed effort to bring down inflation running near its highest annual rate in more than 40 years. The central bank has raised rates five times this year for a total of 3 percentage points and is expected to continue hiking through at least the end of the year.
Despite the increases, job growth had remained relatively strong as companies face a massive mismatch between supply and demand that has left about 1.7 job openings for every available worker. That in turn has helped drive up wages, though the increase in average hourly earnings has fallen well short of the inflation rate, which most recently was at 8.3%.
Fed officials including Chairman Jerome Powell have said they expect the rate hikes to inflict "some pain" on the economy. Federal Open Market Committee members in September indicated they expect the unemployment rate to rise to 4.4% in 2023 and hold around that level before dropping down to 4% over the long run.
Markets widely expect the Fed to continue the pace of its rate hikes with another 0.75 percentage point increase in November. Traders assigned an 82% chance of a three-quarter point move following the jobs numbers, and expect another half-point increase in December that would take the federal funds rate to a range of 4.25%-4.5%.
How Not to Go Off the Grid - WSJ
Sun, 09 Oct 2022 16:27
Adventure seekers trying to get away from it all find they can't get back into their Zipcar; 'get away, disconnect, detach from everything'
Marissa Battle and two friends marched out of the woods after a strenuous 5-mile hike near Olympic National Park, excited for the rest of their ''Twilight'' getaway weekend in Forks, Wash., the rural setting for the popular vampire romance saga.
Then they got a jolt: They were locked out of the car. The trio had rented a technology-reliant Hyundai Elantra from Zipcar Inc., which had given the vehicle the fun name of ''Monroe.'' The car-sharing service owned by Avis Budget Group Inc. operates rental cars equipped with radio-frequency...
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Marissa Battle and two friends marched out of the woods after a strenuous 5-mile hike near Olympic National Park, excited for the rest of their ''Twilight'' getaway weekend in Forks, Wash., the rural setting for the popular vampire romance saga.
Then they got a jolt: They were locked out of the car. The trio had rented a technology-reliant Hyundai Elantra from Zipcar Inc., which had given the vehicle the fun name of ''Monroe.'' The car-sharing service owned by Avis Budget Group Inc. operates rental cars equipped with radio-frequency identification, known as RFID, and Bluetooth technology. ''Monroe'' is locked and unlocked through an app on a cellphone.
Despite being on a first-name basis with their car, the three friends couldn't get inside. Because the trailhead was so remote, there was no cell service. They figured that without a signal, Monroe couldn't hear them.
Another thing you can't do without cell service is easily summon help. At the trailhead, with the late-afternoon sun sinking, they debated whether to scrounge for a ride. ''We were kind of making a gamble of like, 'OK, do we want to get in a car with these strangers?' '' says Ms. Battle, who is now 25.
Eventually they hitched a ride with a passing husband and wife (not vampires, whew) who were camping nearby.
The friends aren't the only ones having road-trip dramas: Others say they have been waylaid after driving cellular-reliant transportation off the grid. (An Olympic National Park ranger station has even posted a sign warning this can happen.) Technology is making it trickier to get away from it all, because our new tech insists on tagging along.
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Such cases of being stranded after going too far off the grid'--by being locked out or the car not starting'--''are extremely rare,'' says Justin Holmes, vice president of marketing and public policy at Zipcar. ''When they do, the root cause of them, it's often not the technology, it's something else,'' he says, including phone settings or expired reservations.
Mr. Holmes said Zipcar can't comment on specific incidents.
Zipcar's website recommends drivers locked out of cars first make sure they have cellular data, Bluetooth and location data switched on.
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Cindy Groshong, who owns Mountain Loop General Store in Washington's Cascade foothills, about 3 miles from a reliable signal, says she and her employees regularly see people walk in seeking the store's landline phone. The castaways, she says, are typically locked out of a digitized rental car or dealing with one that won't start.
''You're not the first person,'' Lynn Sellick-Lane, a store clerk says she assures the stranded. ''They're always a little alarmed and surprised their car will lock them out.''
While waiting for help, wayward travelers play with the store's resident black cat, Mondo, or maybe grab a beer: ''One gal just sat at the bar,'' says Ms. Sellick-Lane.
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University of Washington student Matthew Mitnick tries to defeat the cars himself. An ultramarathoner, he joined Zipcar to venture beyond where public transportation allows to run the Pacific Northwest trails. Half a dozen times, Mr. Mitnick says he emerged from long runs to a Zipcar that wouldn't unlock via the app because the signal on his phone was too weak.
He says he works around the issue by walking around to find a strong enough signal to call Zipcar customer service to unlock the car remotely.
Sometimes, everyone is stumped.
Late one April night, Odhran McCarthy and his wife Maria Rettori'--who both work for the United Nations'--and their 2-year-old, traveled via Zipcar from their home in New York City to the Getaway Cabins in the Catskills.
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''Get away, disconnect, detach from everything,'' says Mr. McCarthy, who is 36, of the goal.
Turns out, they were too detached. The next morning, the family tried to leave for sightseeing, but Mr. McCarthy couldn't unlock the car with his app or RFID card.
''We'll find a solution,'' Mr. McCarthy told himself initially before thinking, ''Holy s'--.''
He used a landline phone at the cabin office to call Zipcar, and the company arranged for a mechanic to come'--who managed to get into the car, but couldn't start it, Mr. McCarthy says. (Zipcar arranged for a tow, which claimed the car several days later.)
Meanwhile, the family took a $365 cab back to Manhattan, while managing a toddler and symptoms of food poisoning from food they had brought along since they couldn't drive to a market or restaurant.
''A perfect planned weekend went to hell,'' Ms. Rettori recalls.
Zipcar later reimbursed them for the cab and property locked in the vehicle.
The three stranded friends who were off the grid for a Twilight-themed weekend hitched a ride to a lodge'--but one far from where they planned to stay.
Unable to find help or a ride anywhere that night, by 1 a.m., the trio shelled out a few hundred dollars for the last room available. Their luggage was back in the car, Monroe.
''The three of us get in bed, in our sweaty, disgusting hiking clothes,'' says Kateri Gajadhar-Smith, who is 25, and was part of the group.
The next morning they were optimistic. ''It's a fresh day,'' Ms. Battle thought. ''We can still make it to Edward and Bella's first date.'' (She meant reservations at a restaurant frequented by Twilight's fictional couple.)
After a 45-minute drive back to the trailhead, a mechanic they summoned from a local towing service unlocked Monroe, using an air-pump wedge to jimmy the front door. But when friend Haley Shoebotham turned the key: Nothing. The trio say they think Zipcar's antitheft tech kicked in, preventing the car from starting if opened without Zipcar's technology.
They loaded everything from Monroe into the mechanic's truck. They drove a stake through the second half of their Twilight weekend, and lunched with their mechanic at a Mexican restaurant. He then shuttled them to a friend, who brought them back to Seattle.
Write to Sarah Donaldson at firstname.lastname@example.org
How Many People Did Ventilators and Iatrogenesis Kill in April 2020? ' Brownstone Institute
Sun, 09 Oct 2022 16:27
To date, we still don't have especially good studies on the actual causes of excess deaths by state and country when the world first went into lockdown in spring 2020.
For political reasons, these deaths were all generally been lumped together as ''Covid deaths,'' but this coding was appallingly sloppy. According to the World Health Organization's initial coding guidance, if a decedent had either tested positive'--using a PCR test later confirmed by the New York Times to have a false positive rate over 85%'--or been in contact with anyone who had within several weeks prior to their death, then the death should be classified as a ''Covid death.'' This enormous number of ''Covid deaths'' was obviously belied by the fact that many places reporting those ''Covid deaths,'' such as Maine, actually had no excess deaths to speak of.
Thus, this article reexamines data from the US CDC on all-cause excess deaths by state during peak lockdown in April 2020 using the information we now know to determine what actually caused them.
This examination concludes that, contrary to popular belief, there was no uniquely deadly strain or variant emanating out of New York in spring 2020; this is clear from the fact that several states close to New York such as Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine experienced little to no excess deaths during that time period.
On the contrary, over 30,000 Americans appear to have been killed by mechanical ventilators or other forms of medical iatrogenesis throughout April 2020, primarily in the area around New York.
This result is not altogether surprising, as subsequent studies revealed a 97.2% mortality rate among those over age 65 who were put on mechanical ventilators in accordance with the initial guidance from the WHO'--as opposed to a 26.6% mortality rate among those over age 65 who weren't put on mechanical ventilators'--before a grassroots campaign put a stop to the practice by the beginning of May 2020.
As one doctor later told the Wall Street Journal, ''We were intubating sick patients very early. Not for the patients' benefit, but in order to control the epidemic'... That felt awful.''
To put this in perspective, patients over age 65 were more than 26 times as likely to survive if they were not placed on mechanical ventilators.
Weekly Excess Deaths by State in April 2020Below are all-cause excess deaths and percentage of all-cause excess deaths per capita (''Percent Excess Estimate'') by state for each week of April 2020. All data used in this examination is obtained from ''National and State Estimates of Excess Deaths,'' available on the US CDC website at ''Excess Deaths Associated with COVID-19.''
(Note: Although many of these hospitalizations and deaths may have actually occurred in March 2020, due to time lag in reporting, the vast majority were recorded in April 2020. Thus, April 2020 provides the most consistent and robust data set. After April 2020, excess deaths taper off significantly.)
The first pattern that emerges from this data is a clear correlation between population density particularly in low-income areas, cold weather, and excess deaths per capita.
For example, percent excess deaths were high in Michigan and Illinois, both of which are cold states with fairly dense and relatively poor urban centers. Percent excess deaths were likewise high in Louisiana, a warm but especially poor and dense state. Percent excess deaths were also somewhat high in Wyoming, a sparse but very cold state. By contrast, percent excess deaths were relatively low in California and Florida, both of which are somewhat dense but also warm and relatively rich states.
A clear cluster forms at the top of the chart in the area around New York City, with New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts generally experiencing the greatest percentages of excess deaths per capita for each week of April 2020. To be sure, each of these four states is a cold state with dense low-income areas, which goes a long way to account for their high excess deaths. However, outside of those four states, excess deaths per capita fall into a more normal range.
It may be tempting, therefore, to conclude that a particularly deadly strain or variant emerged around March 2020 in New York and began emanating from there, which was generally the mainstream narrative at the time.
However, the idea that a particularly deadly strain or variant began emanating from New York in March 2020 is belied by the fact that states like Vermont and New Hampshire, which are both very close to New York, had some of the lowest percentages of excess deaths of any states. Even more remarkably, Maine is very close to New York and had virtually no excess deaths to speak of throughout April 2020.
These counterexamples of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, each of which is very close to New York but experienced few if any excess deaths in spring 2020, strongly refute the notion that a particularly deadly virus began spreading from New York in March 2020. This is also in line with the many studies that have now shown Covid actually began spreading undetected all over the world by fall 2019 at the very latest.
Explaining Outsized Excess Deaths in NY, NJ, CT, and MA in April 2020If Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine belie the notion that a supervirus emanated from New York in March 2020, then what may account for the particularly high excess deaths in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts in April 2020?
The answer is that the area around New York experienced a particular hysteria for the use of mechanical ventilators in spring 2020 to an extent that other states did not. Although no one has yet collected data on just how many patients were placed on mechanical ventilators in spring 2020, we can get a sense for the level of this hysteria from the hundreds of headlines advocating mechanical ventilators that sprung up around that time.
For example, Google yields hundreds of results for the query ''New York mechanical ventilators 2020.'' A sample of the hundreds of headlines are ones such as: ''NY may need 24,000 more ventilators to fight COVID-19. Here's how it could get them,'' ''Which coronavirus patients will get life-saving ventilators? Guidelines show how hospitals in NYC, US will decide,'' ''New York City Needs 400 Ventilators by Sunday, de Blasio Says,'' ''Amid Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, Governor Cuomo Announces 1,000 Ventilators Donated to New York State,'' ''A New York hospital is treating two patients on a device intended for one.''
Likewise, Google yields hundreds of results for the query ''New Jersey mechanical ventilators 2020.'' A sample of some of these headlines include: ''New Jersey hospitals scrambling for more ventilators as coronavirus cases surge,'' ''Why Ventilators Are Critical and How NJ Is Preparing for a Possible Shortage,'' ''New Jersey officials planning for possibility of rationing ventilators,'' ''There could be a shortage of lifesaving equipment in New Jersey. Who decides who gets it?''
Google also yields many results for the query ''Massachusetts mechanical ventilators 2020,'' such as: ''Massachusetts hospitals scramble to get more ventilators before deluge of coronavirus patients,'' ''Mass. Delegation Urges FEMA to Immediately Release Enough Ventilators from the Strategic National Stockpile to Massachusetts as Hospitals Prepare for Surge,'' ''Facing COVID-19 Surge, Massachusetts Is Short 1,300 Ventilators Baker Requested.''
This phenomenon was not nearly as pronounced in other states. Compared to the many hundreds of results for New York and New Jersey, Google yields relatively few results for the query ''Michigan mechanical ventilators 2020.'' Likewise, Google yields relatively few results for ''California mechanical ventilators 2020,'' ''Texas mechanical ventilators 2020,'' or ''Florida mechanical ventilators 2020,'' despite the fact that each of these latter states is larger than New York by population.
Given we now know that patients over age 65 were more than 26 times as likely to survive if they were not placed on mechanical ventilators, it's not hard to see how this hysteria for mechanical ventilators in the New York area accounted for the particularly high excess death rates in that region.
Additionally, because the neighboring states of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine experienced little to no excess deaths during this time period, the overuse of mechanical ventilators and other medical iatrogenesis in spring 2020 provides a far more robust explanation for the particularly high rates of excess deaths in the New York area than does a particularly deadly strain or variant.
How Many Were Killed by Mechanical Ventilators?So just how many people were killed by the overuse of mechanical ventilators and other iatrogenesis in spring 2020? Unfortunately, no one has yet seriously answered that question. However, we can form a conservative estimate based on the data above by using the percentage of excess deaths in a comparable state that did not experience as much ventilator hysteria.
As mentioned, outside of the New York area, Michigan also experienced a high percentage of excess deaths per capita in April 2020. Michigan is even colder than New York and New Jersey in terms of its climate, and its low-income urban centers are even more dense, both of which were primary factors correlating with excess deaths in spring 2020. Like New York and New Jersey, Michigan also had a strict lockdown at that time.
However, Michigan did not experience nearly the same level of hysteria for mechanical ventilators as did the New York area, and Michigan's rate of excess deaths, while high, was more in line with that of other states.
Thus, we can assume that if New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts had not engaged in ventilator hysteria, then their percentages of excess deaths per capita would have been more similar to that of Michigan.
Accordingly, below, I've calculated the number of excess deaths that New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts would have experienced for each week if they'd had the same percentage of excess deaths as Michigan.
By subtracting the number of excess deaths that each state would have experienced if their excess death rate had been the same as that of Michigan from the number of excess deaths they actually experienced each week, we can see that in total, during April 2020, approximately 17,289 deaths in New York City, 7,347 deaths in New Jersey, 803 deaths in Massachusetts, 788 deaths in Connecticut, and 3,725 deaths in New York outside New York City were attributable to the overuse of mechanical ventilators or other iatrogenesis.
All told, this data indicates that some 30,000 patients in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts were killed by mechanical ventilators or other medical iatrogenesis in April 2020.
This is, of course, a very conservative way of estimating the number of patients killed by ventilators and iatrogenesis during this timeframe. To be sure, some unknown number of patients were put on ventilators in Michigan and other states as well. Thus, the true number of Americans killed by mechanical ventilators and other iatrogenesis in April 2020 is likely higher than 30,000.
While this methodology may be simple, it has proven accurate in the past. For example, my calculation that approximately 200,000 Americans had been killed by lockdowns and Covid mandates by comparing the rate of excess deaths in America to that of Sweden was subsequently borne out in a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research.
In conclusion, low-income population density, cold weather, and the overuse of mechanical ventilators were all strong correlates with excess deaths in spring 2020. The popular belief that a particularly deadly strain or variant emanated out of New York in March 2020 is belied by the absence of excess deaths in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Rather, the outsized number of excess deaths in the area around New York is better explained by the particular hysteria in that region for mechanical ventilators which decreased the survival rate for patients over age 65 by 26-fold.
Some 30,000 patients in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts appear to have been killed by mechanical ventilators or other medical iatrogenesis in April 2020.
The importance of further study into the actual causes of excess deaths in spring 2020 and the source of the guidance that led to them can't be overstated. The legal protections afforded to the WHO by virtue of its status as an international governing body and to China by virtue of its status as a globally-connected totalitarian dictatorship make it uniquely difficult to bring class action lawsuits over this deadly initial Covid guidance or to shed light on it. However, given the sheer number of Americans who were killed by this guidance, it's worth asking whether this is really a cost of doing business that we can continue to afford.
Reprinted from the author's Substack
Michael P Senger is an attorney and author of Snake Oil: How Xi Jinping Shut Down the World. He has been researching the influence of the Chinese Communist Party on the world's response to COVID-19 since March 2020 and previously authored China's Global Lockdown Propaganda Campaign and The Masked Ball of Cowardice in Tablet Magazine. You can follow his work on Substack
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Kanye West slams media for promoting 'godless agenda' and defends 'White Lives Matter' shirt. Adidas announces partnership 'under review,' Ye fires back - TheBlaze
Sun, 09 Oct 2022 16:26
In an interview with Fox News' Tucker Carlson last night, Kanye West called out the media for having a "godless agenda" and addressed the controversy over his wearing a "White Lives Matter" T-shirt.
Carlson opened up the wide-ranging interview by asking Ye about the significance of his lanyard, which featured an ultrasound photograph. The question spun off a deep conversation about Ye's pro-life views and the reactions he receives for being openly against abortion.
"I don't care about people's responses. I care about the fact that there's more black babies being aborted than born in New York City at this point. That 50% of black death in America is abortion," Ye explained.
"I perform for an audience of one, and that's God."
Ye also called the media "demonic" for championing and promoting being overweight.
"The media wants to put out a perception that being overweight is the new goal, when it's actually unhealthy," he stated. "It's actually clinically unhealthy, and for people to promote that, it's demonic."
During the interview, Ye opened up about his ex-wife, Kim Kardashian. He explained that influencers in Kim's life put ideas into her head.
He explained that influential individuals and celebrities "have people that are around them at all times telling them what to be afraid of. It's not what to do or say specifically. It's what to be afraid of."
Ye told Carlson that he received threats when he wore a MAGA hat in support of former President Donald Trump. He explained that his support for the president put a target on his back.
"[They] said that I like Trump, that my career will be over, that my life would be over. They said stuff like people get killed for wearing a hat like that," he stated.
"There's a group mob," said Ye. "It's like liberal Nazis that will go up and attack you."
The two discussed the controversy that arose from a "White Lives Matter" T-shirt that Kanye West and Candace Owens wore to Paris Fashion Week.
Carlson noted that Ye was bashed in the media and called an extremist for wearing the outfit, but no one had bothered to ask him why he wore it. Ye stated that he chose to wear the shirt based on a "gut instinct."
"We are in a battle with the media. The majority of the media has a godless agenda," Ye argued.
The rapper and entrepreneur explained, "The answer to why I wrote 'White Lives Matter' on the shirt is because they do. That's the obvious thing."
Ye stated that he and his father agreed that the shirt was funny because the message was obvious.
\u201cDays ago, during fashion week in Paris, @kanyewest, accompanied by his friend @RealCandaceO, unveiled a t-shirt that read simply, \u201cWhite Lives Matter.\u201d \n\nHere's why he did it:\u201d
'-- Tucker Carlson (@Tucker Carlson) 1665104948 Since Ye wore the outfit, Adidas announced that its partnership with the entrepreneur is "under review."
According to TMZ, Ye wasted no time firing back at the design company on a now-deleted Instagram post.
"F**K ADIDAS," Kanye West reportedly wrote. "I AM ADIDAS." In the alleged post, he accused the company of stealing his designs.
Ye also posted that, since the controversial fashion statement, a concert he had scheduled for the SoFi Stadium in California was canceled due to "inability to staff the event."
CDC: Record Number Of Children Hospitalized With Weakened Immune Systems | ZeroHedge
Sun, 09 Oct 2022 16:26
Official data suggests that more children and young adults than ever have been hospitalized with colds and respiratory issues, according to the Daily Mail, which notes that "experts have repeatedly warned lockdowns and measures used to contain Covid like face masks also suppressed the spread of germs which are crucial for building a strong immune system in children."
According to a retrospective report by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), levels of common cold viruses hit their highest level among non-adults in August 2021 - when levels had been much lower in previous years during the same month.
According to the data which sampled nearly 700 children, nearly 55% tested positive for RSV in August 2021. Of that, 450 were moved to emergency departments where nearly 35% had RSV - which is comparable to the winter months when over 30% of patients regularly have the virus, according to the report.
The CDC samples random pediatric hospitals across the US and makes national estimates to gauge how prevalent viruses are.
There were nearly 700 children in hospital sick with a respiratory virus across the seven wards studied in August last year, of which just over half had tested positive for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) - which is normally benign.
This was the highest levels ever recorded in summer, and came off the back of a year and a half of brutal pandemic restrictions forcing many to stay indoors.
The record all-time high is in December, when 60 per cent of children on wards with respiratory illnesses were infected with RSV. -Daily Mail
What's more, separate data from the CDC indicates that hospital visits for those under four years old may be getting worse. For the week ending Sept. 18 of this year, 4.7% of ER visits in the US for toddlers were for breathing difficulties.
Yale medical director Dr. Scott Roberts told the Mail that lockdowns robbed children of the ability to build up immunity to common illnesses.
"There are two implications to this," he said. "First, the gap gives time for the viruses to mutate even further to cause more severe disease. And second, whatever immunity was built up to those viruses' it will have waned making the immune response now much less potent."
Roberts added that his son, who just turned two-years-old, was coming down with repeated infections after starting daycare.
"We were pretty sheltered during the pandemic," he said, adding "But now my son has just started daycare and he is getting constant infections."
The rise in hospitalizations among children was noted in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), after scientists monitored seven hospitals in seven states for the number of children admitted for respiratory issues. Each child was then tested to determine what disease they had - which doesn't necessarily mean that was the reason for hospitalization.
Uvalde school district suspends school police force, 2 school officials placed on administrative leave | CNN
Sun, 09 Oct 2022 16:26
Officer investigated over response to Uvalde shooting is now working for same school system
The Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District said Friday it had suspended its school police force, less than five months after the attack that left 19 children and two teachers dead.
''The District has made the decision to suspend all activities of the Uvalde CISD Police Department for a period of time. Officers currently employed will fill other roles in the district,'' the district said in a statement.
Additionally, Lt. Miguel Hernandez and Ken Mueller have been placed on administrative leave, with Mueller electing to retire, according to the statement.
''The District has requested the Texas Department of Public Safety to provide additional troopers for campus and extra-curricular activities,'' the district said. ''We are confident that staff and student safety will not be compromised during this transition.''
The district cited unspecified ''recent developments'' that ''uncovered additional concerns with department operations.''
One parent who had protested for days in front of the school district building, demanding the district take action, told CNN on Friday night he was ecstatic about the decision.
The moves come in the wake of a CNN report Wednesday which identified newly hired Uvalde school officer Crimson Elizondo as one of the state troopers under investigation for her actions during the response to the Robb Elementary School massacre in May.
The school district issued a statement on Thursday, following CNN's report, announcing Elizondo's termination.
In the wake of the CNN report, the school district superintendent told staff of his intention to retire.
Superintendent Hal Harrell told district staff Monday's school board meeting will include a closed session to ''discuss superintendent retirement options and transition,'' according to an email obtained by CNN.
Brett Cross, who was the legal guardian of victim Uziyah Garcia, told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Friday night the decision to suspend the campus officers was ''our first win, you know, and I am ecstatic about it.''
Cross said he wasn't alone in the protest in front of the school district headquarters as people often came by to give their support.
They just want transparency and accountability from officials, he said.
''I'm not asking for much. We just want to see action,'' Cross said, adding he hopes for a report on the details of what occurred that day. ''I hope that it is unearthed and I hope that it is published because we deserve it. Our children deserve it.''
After the announcement Cross tweeted the end of his protest: ''We did it! And we are going home!''
Elizondo was among the first of 91 DPS officers to arrive at the school that day. She was one of 376 law enforcement personnel who responded as the shooter was left for 77 minutes, with dead, dying and traumatized victims, before he was stopped. The response to the attack has been denounced as an ''abject failure'' and the blame has spread widely.
The school police chief was fired and now seven DPS officers are being investigated. CNN reported exclusively that Elizondo is one of the officers under investigation. A source close to the investigation also confirmed that to CNN.
So far, the only person known to have lost their job over the response to the shooting has been school police chief Pedro ''Pete'' Arredondo, who was fired by the school board in August. Arredondo became the figurehead of the failed response, though he has said he did not consider himself the incident commander and has called to be reinstated.
Sources familiar with the investigation confirmed to CNN that Elizondo is one of seven officers whose conduct is being investigated by DPS, but neither their names nor their conduct during the response been made public.
Elizondo was not properly equipped and told investigators she was not comfortable entering the school without her gear, according to sources familiar with the inquiry.
She no longer works for DPS. During the summer, Elizondo was hired as an officer for the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District, where her role involved protecting some of the very same children who survived the Robb Elementary shooting.
Elizondo declined to speak with CNN in person, on the phone or by direct message.
Footage from police body cameras and those of other officers seen by CNN show Elizondo arriving at the outskirts of the school as one of the first officers to respond. She gets out of her official vehicle but does not retrieve any tactical body armor or her long rifle, as officers are trained to do. Elizondo walked inside the building briefly but mostly stood outside.
The school district has said it wanted to recruit 10 more officers after the attack. It did not specifically announce the hiring of Elizondo over the summer, though the names and photos of her and four other police officers, one lieutenant and one security guard are on its website, under the banner ''KEEP U.C.I.S.D. SAFE.''
Harrell told a special town hall meeting in August that at least 33 DPS officers would also be deployed around the district's eight schools.
After concerns by residents that officers who failed to stop the killing would be tasked with school security, Cross told CNN he had been assured the deployed DPS officers would not have been responders to the shooting.
''Our children have been taken from us. We will not stop fighting until we have answers and we ensure the safety of the children in our community is the top priority,'' said a statement from representatives for families of district students.
Texas DPS last month launched an internal review into its employees who responded to the school shooting.
NATO must make it impossible for Russia to use nuclear weapons '' Zelensky
Sun, 09 Oct 2022 16:22
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky believes that "NATO should make it impossible for Russia to use nuclear weapons."
"Preemptive strikes are needed so that they know what awaits them if they use nuclear weapons. Not the other way around, waiting for Russia's nuclear strikes and then saying, 'oh, you've done that, then get this,'" he said on Thursday, speaking via video link at Australia's think tank, the Lowy Institute.
NATO, Zelensky said, "should reconsider how it uses its pressure."
Pentagon reviews psychological operations amid Facebook, Twitter complaints - The Washington Post
Sun, 09 Oct 2022 16:22
The Pentagon has ordered a sweeping audit of how it conducts clandestine information warfare after major social media companies identified and took offline fake accounts suspected of being run by the U.S. military in violation of the platforms' rules.
Colin Kahl, the undersecretary of defense for policy, last week instructed the military commands that engage in psychological operations online to provide a full accounting of their activities by next month after the White House and some federal agencies expressed mounting concerns over the Defense Department's attempted manipulation of audiences overseas, according to several defense and administration officials familiar with the matter.
The takedowns in recent years by Twitter and Facebook of more than 150 bogus personas and media sites created in the United States was disclosed last month by internet researchers Graphika and the Stanford Internet Observatory. While the researchers did not attribute the sham accounts to the U.S. military, two officials familiar with the matter said that U.S. Central Command is among those whose activities are facing scrutiny. Like others interviewed for this report, they spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive military operations.
The researchers did not specify when the takedowns occurred, but those familiar with the matter said they were within the past two or three years. Some were recent, they said, and involved posts from the summer that advanced anti-Russia narratives citing the Kremlin's ''imperialist'' war in Ukraine and warning of the conflict's direct impact on Central Asian countries. Significantly, they found that the pretend personas '-- employing tactics used by countries such as Russia and China '-- did not gain much traction, and that overt accounts actually attracted more followers.
Centcom, headquartered in Tampa, has purview over military operations across 21 countries in the Middle East, North Africa and Central and South Asia. A spokesman declined to comment.
Air Force Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder, the Pentagon press secretary, said in a statement that the military's information operations ''support our national security priorities'' and must be conducted in compliance with relevant laws and policies. ''We are committed to enforcing those safeguards,'' he said.
Spokespersons for Facebook and Twitter declined to comment.
Facebook and Twitter removed pro-West fake accounts originating in the United States
According to the researchers' report, the accounts taken down included a made-up Persian-language media site that shared content reposted from the U.S.-funded Voice of America Farsi and Radio Free Europe. Another, it said, was linked to a Twitter handle that in the past had claimed to operate on behalf of Centcom.
One fake account posted an inflammatory tweet claiming that relatives of deceased Afghan refugees had reported bodies being returned from Iran with missing organs, according to the report. The tweet linked to a video that was part of an article posted on a U.S.-military affiliated website.
Centcom has not commented on whether these accounts were created by its personnel or contractors. If the organ-harvesting tweet is shown to be Centcom's, one defense official said, it would ''absolutely be a violation of doctrine and training practices.''
Independent of the report, The Washington Post has learned that in 2020 Facebook disabled fictitious personas created by Centcom to counter disinformation spread by China suggesting the coronavirus responsible for covid-19 was created at a U.S. Army lab in Fort Detrick, Md., according to officials familiar with the matter. The pseudo profiles '-- active in Facebook groups that conversed in Arabic, Farsi and Urdu, the officials said '-- were used to amplify truthful information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about the virus's origination in China.
The U.S. government's use of ersatz social media accounts, though authorized by law and policy, has stirred controversy inside the Biden administration, with the White House pressing the Pentagon to clarify and justify its policies. The White House, agencies such as the State Department and even some officials within the Defense Department have been concerned that the policies are too broad, allowing leeway for tactics that even if used to spread truthful information, risk eroding U.S. credibility, several U.S. officials said.
''Our adversaries are absolutely operating in the information domain,'' said a second senior defense official. ''There are some who think we shouldn't do anything clandestine in that space. Ceding an entire domain to an adversary would be unwise. But we need stronger policy guardrails.''
A spokeswoman for the National Security Council, which is part of the White House, declined to comment.
Kahl disclosed his review at a virtual meeting convened by the National Security Council on Tuesday, saying he wants to know what types of operations have been carried out, who they're targeting, what tools are being used and why military commanders have chosen those tactics, and how effective they have been, several officials said.
The message was essentially, ''You have to justify to me why you're doing these types of things,'' the first defense official said.
Pentagon policy and doctrine discourage the military from peddling falsehoods, but there are no specific rules mandating the use of truthful information for psychological operations. For instance, the military sometimes employs fiction and satire for persuasion purposes, but generally the messages are supposed to stick to facts, officials said.
In 2020, officers at Facebook and Twitter contacted the Pentagon to raise concerns about the phony accounts they were having to remove, suspicious they were associated with the military. That summer, David Agranovich, Facebook's director for global threat disruption, spoke to Christopher C. Miller, then assistant director for Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict, which oversees influence operations policy, warning him that if Facebook could sniff them out, so could U.S. adversaries, several people familiar with the conversation said.
''His point''' one person said, ''was 'Guys, you got caught. That's a problem.' ''
Before Miller could take action, he was tapped to head a different agency '-- the National Counterterrorism Center. Then the November election happened and time ran out for the Trump administration to address the matter, although Miller did spend the last few weeks of Donald Trump's presidency serving as acting defense secretary.
With the rise of Russia and China as strategic competitors, military commanders have wanted to fight back, including online. And Congress supported that. Frustrated with perceived legal obstacles to the Defense Department's ability to conduct clandestine activities in cyberspace, Congress in late 2019 passed a law affirming that the military could conduct operations in the ''information environment'' to defend the United States and to push back against foreign disinformation aimed at undermining its interests. The measure, known as Section 1631, allows the military to carry out clandestine psychological operations without crossing what the CIA has claimed as its covert authority, alleviating some of the friction that had hindered such operations previously.
''Combatant commanders got really excited,'' recalled the first defense official. ''They were very eager to utilize these new authorities. The defense contractors were equally eager to land lucrative classified contracts to enable clandestine influence operations.''
At the same time, the official said, military leaders were not trained to oversee ''technically complex operations conducted by contractors'' or coordinate such activities with other stakeholders elsewhere in the U.S. government.
Last year, with a new administration in place, Facebook's Agranovich tried again. This time he took his complaint to President Biden's deputy national security adviser for cyber, Anne Neuberger. Agranovich, who had worked at the NSC under Trump, told Neuberger that Facebook was taking down fake accounts because they violated the company's terms of service, according to people familiar with the exchange.
The accounts were easily detected by Facebook, which since Russia's campaign to interfere in the 2016 presidential election has enhanced its ability to identify mock personas and sites. In some cases, the company had removed profiles, which appeared to be associated with the military, that promoted information deemed by fact-checkers to be false, said a person familiar with the matter.
Report on Russian disinformation amid 2016 election shows the operation's scale and sweep
Agranovich also spoke to officials at the Pentagon. His message was: ''We know what DOD is doing. It violates our policies. We will enforce our policies'' and so ''DOD should knock it off,'' said a U.S. official briefed on the matter.
In response to White House concerns, Kahl ordered a review of Military Information Support Operations, or MISO, the Pentagon's moniker for psychological operations. A draft concluded that policies, training and oversight all needed tightening, and that coordination with other agencies, such as the State Department and the CIA, needed strengthening, according to officials.
The review also found that while there were cases in which fictitious information was pushed by the military, they were the result of inadequate oversight of contractors and personnel training '-- not systemic problems, officials said.
Pentagon leadership did little with the review, two officials said, before Graphika and Stanford published their report on Aug. 24, which elicited a flurry of news coverage and questions for the military.
The State Department and CIA have been perturbed by the military's use of clandestine tactics. Officers at State have admonished the Defense Department, ''Hey don't amplify our policies using fake personas, because we don't want to be seen as creating false grass roots efforts,'' the first defense official said.
One diplomat put it this way: ''Generally speaking, we shouldn't be employing the same kind of tactics that our adversaries are using because the bottom line is we have the moral high ground. We are a society that is built on a certain set of values. We promote those values around the world and when we use tactics like those, it just undermines our argument about who we are.''
Psychological operations to promote U.S. narratives overseas are nothing new in the military, but the popularity of western social media across the globe has led to an expansion of tactics, including the use of artificial personas and images '-- sometimes called ''deep fakes.'' The logic is that views expressed by what appears to be, say, an Afghan woman or an Iranian student might be more persuasive than if they were openly pushed by the U.S. government.
U.S. Cybercom contemplates information warfare to counter Russian interference in the 2020 election
The majority of the military's influence operations are overt, promoting U.S. policies in the Middle East, Asia and elsewhere under its own name, officials said. And there are valid reasons to use clandestine tactics, such as trying to infiltrate a closed terrorist chat group, they said.
A key issue for senior policymakers now is determining whether the military's execution of clandestine influence operations is delivering results. ''Is the juice worth the squeeze? Does our approach really have the potential for the return on investment we hoped or is it just causing more challenges?'' one person familiar with the debate said.
The report by Graphika and Stanford suggests that the clandestine activity did not have much impact. It noted that the ''vast majority of posts and tweets'' reviewed received ''no more than a handful of likes or retweets,'' and only 19 percent of the concocted accounts had more than 1,000 followers. ''Tellingly,'' the report stated, ''the two most-followed assets in the data provided by Twitter were overt accounts that publicly declared a connection to the U.S. military.''
Clandestine influence operations have a role in support of military operations, but it should be a narrow one with ''intrusive oversight'' by military and civilian leadership, said Michael Lumpkin, a former senior Pentagon official handling information operations policy and a former head of the State Department's Global Engagement Center. ''Otherwise, we risk making more enemies than friends.''
Alice Crites contributed to this report.
King Charles III heartbeat away from death? Report claims doctors told Prince William to prepare
Sun, 09 Oct 2022 16:19
King Charles III may not live long enough to be officially crowned at a gala ceremony because he is secretly dying from a fatal heart condition, a new report claimed.
Sources told Globe Magazine, in its latest edition, that doctors instructed Prince William to stand by and be ready to assume the throne at any moment because King Charles III is a heartbeat away from death. The new monarch, as per the magazine, is ignoring the grim warnings and pushing hard to put his stamp on the monarchy after a lifetime of waiting in the wings to confront his destiny.
The publication claimed that "grief-stricken" King Charles III plunged into a gruelling, seven-day, 2,000-mile whirlwind tour of England, trying to show he was capable of taking over the throne following the demise of Queen Elizabeth II.
However, graphic snaps of King Charles III's swollen fingers, fondly called the "sausage fingers," renewed fears his health is on a dangerous downward spiral. Doctors, according to Globe, are warning the new monarch that he is on the brink of fatal cardiac arrest and apparently ignoring the danger signs.
New York-based internist Dr Stuart Fischer told the magazine, "The condition causing his swelling is called oedema. The added water retention is a burden on the heart. A weak heart cannot pump normally, and fluid backs up into the veins, interfering with circulation. It's called congestive heart failure."
An unnamed doctor also said to Globe, "Swollen hands and feet are both signs of health failure."
Palace insiders, per the magazine, also fear King Charles III's two bouts with COVID-19 took a toll, and his recent unhinged rages are boosting his blood pressure to deadly levels.
The high-level palace courtier shared, "Charles kept his composure during the queen's day-long funeral and final private burial, but he lost it behind palace doors. I'm told he had a fiery emotional collapse, telling his wife, Camilla, his new life was too much for him. He was exhausted and panicked at what lies ahead as king '' and said he couldn't deal with it. It's clear Charles is living on a knife-edge and could explode at any moment."
The palace courtier predicted, "His reign will be one of the shortest of the last 200 years. He's desperately trying to keep a lid on his failing health and look like a strong successor to his amazing mother, Elizabeth. But the truth is his future looks grim. Prince William has been warned to be ready to assume the monarch's duties at a moment's notice."
King Charles III has yet to comment on the reports saying that he is a heartbeat away from death. It is also important to note that the doctors quoted in his story have not treated Prince William's father. So, avid followers of the new British monarch should take all these unverified claims with a pinch of salt until everything is proven true and correct.
Outdoor jacket manufacturer Barbour had the royal seal of approval of both the queen and the new King Charles III POOL via AFP / Scott Heppell
(20) Kim Dotcom on Twitter: "Imagine you live in eastern Ukraine and you listen to this leaked phone call by the former Prime Minister of Ukraine saying: ''They must be killed with nuclear weapons.'' Would you have voted to join Russia or would you have
Sun, 09 Oct 2022 16:17
Kim Dotcom : Imagine you live in eastern Ukraine and you listen to this leaked phone call by the former Prime Minister of Ukrain'... https://t.co/Z9Dkcpk9Af
Sat Oct 08 13:12:28 +0000 2022
September job gains affirm that the Fed has a long way to go in inflation fight
Sun, 09 Oct 2022 16:17
The Go! Go! Curry restaurant has a sign in the window reading "We Are Hiring" in Cambridge, Massachusetts, July 8, 2022.
Brian Snyder | Reuters
September's jobs report provided both assurance that the jobs market remains strong and that the Federal Reserve will have to do more to slow it down.
The 263,000 gain in nonfarm payrolls was just below analyst expectations and the slowest monthly gain in nearly a year and a half.
But a surprising drop in the unemployment rate and another boost in worker wages sent a clear message to markets that more giant interest rate hikes are on the way.
"Low unemployment used to feel so good. Everybody who seems to want a job is getting a job," said Ron Hetrick, senior economist at labor force data provider Lightcast. "But we've been getting into a situation where our low unemployment rate has absolutely been a significant driver of our inflation."
Indeed, average hourly earnings rose 5% on a year-over-year basis in September, down slightly from the 5.2% pace in August but still indicative of an economy where the cost of living is surging. Hourly earnings rose 0.3% on a monthly basis, the same as in August.
No 'green light' for a Fed changeFed officials have pointed to a historically tight labor market as a byproduct of economic conditions that have pushed inflation readings to near the highest point since the early 1980s. A series of central bank rate increases has been aimed at reducing demand and thus loosening up a labor market where there are still 1.7 open jobs for every available worker.
Friday's nonfarm payrolls report only reinforced that the conditions behind inflation are persisting.
To financial markets, that meant the near certainty that the Fed will approve a fourth consecutive 0.75 percentage point interest rate hike when it meets again in early November. This will be the last jobs report policymakers will see before the Nov. 1-2 Federal Open Market Committee meeting.
"Anyone looking for a reprieve that might give the Fed the green light to start to telegraph a pivot didn't get it from this report," said Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab. "Maybe the light got a little greener that they can step back from" two more 0.75 percentage point increases and only one more, Sonders said.
In a speech Thursday, Fed Governor Christopher Waller sent up a preemptive flare that Friday's report would do little to dissuade his view on inflation.
"In my view, we haven't yet made meaningful progress on inflation and until that progress is both meaningful and persistent, I support continued rate increases, along with ongoing reductions in the Fed's balance sheet, to help restrain aggregate demand," Waller said.
Markets do, however, expect that November probably will be the last three-quarter point rate hike.
Futures pricing Friday pointed to an 82% chance of a 0.75-point move in November, then a 0.5-point increase in December followed by another 0.25-point move in February that would take the fed funds rate to a range of 4.5%4.75%, according to CME Group data.
What concerns investors more than anything now is whether the Fed can do all that without dragging the economy into a deep, prolonged recession.
Pessimism on the StreetSeptember's payroll gains brought some hope that the labor market could be strong enough to withstand monetary tightening matched only when former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker slew inflation in the early 1980s with a fund rate that topped out just above 19% in early 1981.
"It could add to the story of that soft landing that for a while seemed fairly elusive," said Jeffrey Roach, chief economist at LPL Financial. "That soft landing could still be in the cards if the Fed doesn't break anything."
Investors, though, were concerned enough over the prospects of a "break" that they sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average down more than 500 points by noon Friday.
Commentary around Wall Street centered on the uncertainty of the road ahead:
From KPMG senior economist Ken Kim: "Typically, in most other economic cycles, we'd be very happy with such a solid report, especially coming from the labor market side. But this just speaks volumes about the upside-down world that we're in, because the strength of the unemployment report keeps the pressure on the Fed to continue with their rate increases going forward."Rick Rieder, BlackRock's chief investment officer of global fixed income, joked about the Fed banning resume software in an effort to cool job hunters: "The Fed should throw another 75-bps rate hike into this mix at its next meeting ... consequently pressing financial conditions tighter along the way ... We wonder whether it will actually take banning resume software as a last-ditch effort to hit the target, but while that won't happen, we wonder whether, and when, significant unemployment increases will happen as well."David Donabedian, CIO at CIBC Private Wealth: "We expect the pressure on the Fed to remain high, with continued monetary tightening well into 2023. The Fed is not done tightening the screws on the economy, creating persistent headwinds for the equity market."Ron Temple, head of U.S. equity at Lazard Asset Management: "While job growth is slowing, the US economy remains far too hot for the Fed to achieve its inflation target. The path to a soft landing keeps getting more challenging. If there are any doves left on the FOMC, today's report might have further thinned their ranks."The employment data left the third-quarter economic picture looking stronger.
The Atlanta Fed's GDPNow tracker put growth for the quarter at 2.9%, a reprieve after the economy saw consecutive negative readings in the first two quarters of the year, meeting the technical definition of recession.
However, the Atlanta Fed's wage tracker shows worker pay growing at a 6.9% annual pace through August, even faster than the Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers. The Fed tracker uses Census rather than BLS data to inform its calculations and is generally more closely followed by central bank policymakers.
It all makes the inflation fight look ongoing, even with a slowdown in payroll growth.
"There is an interpretation of today's data as supporting a soft landing '' job openings are falling and the unemployment rate is staying low," wrote Citigroup economist Andrew Hollenhorst, "but we continue to see the most likely outcome as persistently strong wage and price inflation that the Fed will drive the economy into at least a mild recession to bring down inflation."
'We are no longer afraid': More anti-government protests sweep through Iran | Euronews
Sun, 09 Oct 2022 16:16
Protestors came out across Iran on Saturday as anti-government demonstrations enter their fourth week.
Footage shared online showed Iranians on the streets in several towns and cities chanting anti-government slogans and blocking roads, with security forces engaging in violent clashes with protestors.
Unrest in Iran was sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini on 16 September after her arrest by the country's moral police for allegedly not wearing her headscarf properly.
Protests have been reported on Saturday in many of Iran's major cities, such as Tehran, Karaj, Isfahan, Mashhad, Qazvin, Kermanshah and Shiraz, among others, according to AFP and IranWire.
"We are no longer afraid. We will fight," read a large banner that was placed on an overpass of a motorway that crosses the Iranian capital, Tehran.
Meanwhile, several strikes took place in Kurdish cities in western Iran, alongside Mahabad in West Azerbaijan, with reports of security services shooting at protestors in the city of Sanandaj.
Schoolgirls in Saqez -- Amini's hometown -- took off their hijabs (headscarves) and waved them around, shouting "women, life, freedom" on Saturday, the start of Iran's academic year.
University students across Iran also refused to go to class and joined protestors on the streets, according to IranWire.
Tear gas was used to disperse demonstrators near Sharif University in Tehran, which was violently besieged by security forces this week.
Demonstrations over Amini's death have morphed into a wider challenge to Iran's Islamic government, which is deeply unpopular among large sections of society.
Leaked medical evidence shows that Amini suffered several violent blows to the head while in police custody, while Iranian authorities claim she had a "sudden heart attack".
There is widespread popular anger over many of the government's Islam-inspired policies, such as compulsory hijab for women, a faltering economy hit hard by sanctions, and the violent response to protestors.
At least 154 people, including children, have been killed since nationwide protests began, according to Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO), though the figure is likely to be much higher as many deaths go unreported.
Thousands have been detained.
IHRNGO Director Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam claimed last week that the killing of protestors in Iran "amounts to a crime against humanity", urging the international community to "prevent further crimes".
On Friday, fountains in Tehran were filled with red paint by an unknown artist to symbolise the blood that has been spilt in Iran.
The authorities' response has intensified since the beginning of the protests in September, cutting off the internet and mobile data for long periods at a time.
There have been repeated reports of security forces using live ammunition and shotguns against demonstrators, besides rubber bullets and batons.
Ultra-conservative President Ebrahim Raisi has blamed the unrest on outside forces, notably the United States, while several officials have called on the security services to stop the protests.
At a Saturday press conference, Raisi said students would not serve the interests of "the enemy", in reference to the US which is often referred to as the "great Satan" by Iran's government.
"The enemy thought they could achieve their goals in the universities, ignoring the fact that our students and professors are vigilant and will not allow the enemy's false dreams to come true," he said.
Waves of anti-government protests have broken out in Iran in recent years.
In 2019, there were mass demonstrations after the government hiked the price of gas. Hundreds were reportedly killed in the clashes that followed.
Allegedly Leaked Bank Records Filed in OnlyFans-Meta Bribe Suit
Sun, 09 Oct 2022 16:15
Photo: STRF/STAR MAX/IPx | Florian Gaertner (AP)
A group of adult entertainers suing Meta say they were leaked new evidence of bribery'--bank records that detail wire transfers from OnlyFans executives to offshore accounts for Meta executives.
A group of adult entertainers is suing Facebook and Instagram parent company Meta, alleging the social media company's higher-ups accepted bribes in exchange for throttling web traffic to adult cam sites that competed with OnlyFans. The performers submitted new evidence in California federal court to support their allegations that included what they claim are wire transfers between executives.
The entertainers, who each claim to have lost at least tens of thousands of dollars in revenue in the alleged scheme, filed a class action lawsuit in February charging Meta and OnlyFans' parent company Fenix International with secretly colluding to help the latter dominate its competitors in the online adult entertainment industry.
U.S. District Judge William Alsup last month ruled that the plaintiffs, Dawn Dangaard, Kelly Gilbert, and Jennifer Allbaugh '-- whose class-action complaint is filed on behalf of ''at least'' 100 other individuals '-- had initially failed to provide the court with enough information. An amended complaint since filed includes several new exhibits, one of which allegedly contains records of wire transfers provided by an anonymous tipster, who has encouraged the entertainers to ''follow the money.''
The main allegation of the case accuses OnlyFans of bribing certain Meta employees to add the site's porn industry rivals to global databases used by internet companies to identify and mitigate threats. Websites and other content included in these repositories are often suppressed on social media with AI. These databases allegedly included ThreatExchange, an API-based platform launched by Meta in 2015 to share ''details about malware and phishing attacks,'' and another founded by the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT), a partnership between Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, and YouTube aimed at preventing the spread of terrorist and violent extremist content.
G/O Media may get a commission
According to the complaint, this resulted in a ''substantial and dramatic'' impact on the internet traffic of adult entertainment providers unaffiliated with OnlyFans, resulting in account takedowns and reduced visibility for entertainers that significantly reduced click-throughs on social media. Entertainers who exclusively promoted OnlyFans, meanwhile, and none of its rivals, were ''unaffected by these automated takedowns and reduced traffic,'' the complaint says.
OnlyFans' billionaire owner, Leo Radvinsky, an online porn mogul reportedly based in Florida, is also specifically named in the suit, due in no small part to investigative reportage by Forensic News.
A spokesperson for OnlyFans, which previously told the BBC the claims against it have ''no merit,'' told Gizmodo Thursday that it had ''nothing further to add to our original comment.'' Meta, which likewise told the BBC the claims are ''without merit,'' did not respond to a request for comment.
The amended complaint, filed on the 28th of last month, describes records of various wire transfers received by the performers' lawyers via an anonymous tip titled ''Follow the money.'' The wire transfer records were submitted to the court under seal and the names of the Meta employees named in the suit have been redacted from public records.
Though sealed, some details of the transfers may be still be gleaned from unredacted portions of the complaint itself. The memo line of one of transfer, for example, is said to identify several other online adult properties, including top webcam sites like LiveJasmin and Chaturbate, as well as MindGeek, the Canadian company behind Pornhub. This record is further said to reflect a payment from Fenix International to a company called Smart Team, which the plaintiffs claim as evidence that Fenix had paid ''for services associated with hurting its competitors.''
Smart Team, the complaint says, is a now-defunct company that shared the same physical address in Hong Kong as OnlyFans-parent Fenix International. Smart Team was dissolved, according to the plaintiffs, shortly after its name appeared in their initial February complaint.
The remaining wire transfers, the complaint says, show payments ''from a Smart Team account at HSBC, a Hong Kong bank, to three trust accounts at the Philippine Bank of Communication (PBCOM).'' The trusts, it says, ''benefit individuals with high positions at Meta.''
While the names of the Meta officials are withheld, the complaint appears to implicate three employees: A male employee who received a transfer from Smart Team to a PBCOM account opened in the name of a ''minor child,'' and a female employee who received ''five transactions'' between 2017 and 2019. Both are described as being capable of ordering ''data be entered into the the Threat Exchange and/or GIFCT databases.'' Additionally, a second male employee is said to have received ''several transfers'' in 2018 and is described as being ''well-positioned to illicitly enter data,'' or direct a subordinate to do so.
Other statements appear to place the employees high up in the company, describing them each using the title ''executives.'' The scheme, the complaint says, ''necessarily required and involved officers, directors, or managing agents of Meta and its subsidiaries,'' specifically with the ability to ''add and/or manipulate content on one or more individual lists of dangerous organizations and individuals.'' The suit further does not discount that additional actions may have been taken to penalize competitor websites to OnlyFans.
The complaint goes on to say the plaintiffs have secured testimony from a ''confidential witness'' with knowledge of an internal memo circulated at OnlyFans that allegedly claimed the company had a ''special relationship'' with Meta granting its subscribers ''some protection'' on social media. It further accused Meta employees of taking actions to ''cover their tracks,'' at one point allegedly modifying names on the company's list of dangerous individuals and organizations (while leaving other details such as URLs and IP addresses intact).
The performers say they have retained banking experts to examine and authenticate the wire transfer documents. The experts concluded that the documents bear what courts call a ''sufficient indicia of reliability,'' that is, they appear genuine on face '-- enough so to warrant merit further inquiry, according to the filing.
Because the alleged transfers were obtained from an anonymous source, the court could rule the documents, or any of the information they contain, hearsay, and thus inadmissible. At the same time, business records can be exempted from the hearsay rule under certain conditions '-- at least one of which the plaintiffs appear to have met: the complaint repeatedly implies the documents are records of actual banking activity, not just a written account by someone describing unspecified transfers.
Additionally, the court may find it reasonably within the plaintiffs' power to authenticate the documents if granted discovery and the ability to subpoena Meta and OnlyFans for additional records. Likewise, if the documents are counterfeit instead, it may find the accused are equally positioned to prove it. (The ability of defendants to challenge third-party claims is integral to the hearsay exception.)
''Plaintiffs need discovery to ascertain whether someone falsely opened accounts in the names of those Facebook executives or family members, or whether they indeed are associated with those executives,'' the complaint says.
Meta, OnlyFans, and Radvinsky are accused of tortious interference with contract, intentional interference with business relationships, and violation of the unfair competition law. The plaintiffs, who estimate the combined losses for the class at over $5 million, have requested compensatory, statutory, and punitive damages, and injunctive relief such as the court deems proper.
Chris Hedges - Wikipedia
Sun, 09 Oct 2022 15:06
Christopher Lynn Hedges (born September 18, 1956) is an American journalist, Presbyterian minister, author, and commentator.
In his early career, Hedges worked as a freelance war correspondent in Central America for The Christian Science Monitor, NPR, and Dallas Morning News. Hedges reported for The New York Times from 1990 to 2005, and served as the Times Middle East Bureau Chief and Balkan Bureau Chief during the wars in the former Yugoslavia. In 2001, Hedges contributed to The New York Times staff entry that received the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting for the paper's coverage of global terrorism.
Hedges produced a weekly column for Truthdig for 14 years until the outlet's hiatus in 2020. His books include War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (2002), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction; American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America (2007); Death of the Liberal Class (2010); and Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt (2012), written with cartoonist Joe Sacco.
Hedges hosted the television program On Contact for RT America from 2016 to 2022.
Early life [ edit ] Christopher Lynn Hedges was born on September 18, 1956 in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. His father was a World War II veteran, Presbyterian minister, and anti-war activist. He was raised in rural Schoharie County, New York, southwest of Albany.
Education [ edit ] Hedges received a scholarship to attend Loomis Chaffee School, a private boarding school in Windsor, Connecticut. Hedges founded an underground newspaper at the school that was banned by the administration and resulted in his being put on probation. He participated in track and graduated in 1975.
Hedges enrolled into Colgate University and, though heterosexual, helped found an LGBT student group. Hedges received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Colgate in 1979. He sought a postgraduate education at Harvard University's Divinity School where he studied under James Luther Adams in addition to studying classics and Classical Greek. While attending Harvard, Hedges lived in Roxbury, a blighted inner city neighborhood in Boston, where he worked as a seminarian and ran a small church. He was also a member of the Greater Boston YMCA's boxing team, writing that the boxing gym was "the only place I felt safe."
Early career [ edit ] Hedges gained an interest in pursuing journalism as a means of furthering ministry after a period of close communications with British journalist Robert Cox, who was at that time reporting on the Dirty War in Argentina. While having one year left before graduation, Hedges briefly dropped out of Harvard to study Spanish in Cochabamba, Bolivia with the support of the Catholic Maryknoll Fathers. Following Cox's recommendation, Hedges informally prepared for work as a reporter through studying a four-volume set of collected works by George Orwell. Hedges made some freelance contributions for The Washington Post, and later covered the Falklands War from Buenos Aires for National Public Radio using equipment given to him by NPR reporter William Buzenberg. Hedges returned to the United States to complete a Master of Divinity degree at Harvard in 1983.
Hedges continued his career as a freelance journalist in Latin America. From 1983 to 1984, he covered the conflicts in El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala for The Christian Science Monitor and NPR. He was hired as the Central America Bureau Chief for The Dallas Morning News in 1984 and held this position until 1988. Noam Chomsky wrote of Hedges at the time that he was one of the "few US journalists in Central America who merit the title."
Hedges took a sabbatical to study Arabic in 1988. He was appointed the Middle East Bureau Chief for The Dallas Morning News in 1989. In one of his first stories for the paper he tracked down Robert Manning in the settlement of Kiryat Arba in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Manning, linked to the militant Jewish Defense League and allegedly behind several murders including the 1985 bombing death in California of Alex Odeh, was extradited to the United States in 1991 where he is serving a life sentence for a separate bombing incident.
The New York Times [ edit ] In 1990, Hedges was hired by The New York Times. He covered the first Gulf War for the paper, where he refused to participate in the military pool system that restricted the movement and reporting of journalists. He was arrested by the United States Army and had his press credentials revoked, but continued to defy the military restrictions to report outside the pool system. Hedges subsequently entered Kuwait with U.S. Marine Corps members who were distrustful of the Army's press control. Within The New York Times, R.W. Apple Jr. supported Hedges' defiance of the pool system.
Hedges, along with Neal Conan, was taken prisoner in Basra after the war by the Iraqi Republican Guard during the Shiite uprising. He was freed after a week. Hedges was appointed the paper's Middle East Bureau Chief in 1991. His reporting on the atrocities committed by Saddam Hussein in the Kurdish-held parts of northern Iraq saw the Iraqi leader offer a bounty for anyone who killed Hedges, along with other western journalists and aid workers in the region. Several aid workers and journalists, including the German reporter Lissy Schmidt, were assassinated and others were severely wounded.
Yugoslav Wars (1995''2000) [ edit ] In 1995, Hedges was named the Balkan Bureau Chief for The New York Times. He was based in Sarajevo when the city was being hit by over 300 shells a day by the surrounding Bosnia Serbs. He reported on the Srebrenica massacre in July 1995 and shortly after the war uncovered what appeared to be one of the central collection points and hiding places for perhaps thousands of corpses at the large open pit Ljubija mine during the Bosnian Serbs' ethnic cleansing campaign. He and the photographer Wade Goddard were the first reporters to travel with armed units of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in Kosovo. Hedges investigative piece was published in The New York Times in June 1999 detailing how Hashim Tha§i, leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army (and later president of Kosovo), directed a campaign in which as many as half a dozen top rebel commanders were assassinated and many others were brutally purged to consolidate his power. Thaci, indicted by the special court in The Hague on 10 counts of war crimes, is in detention in The Hague awaiting trial.
Hedges was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University during the 1998''1999 academic year, and chose to study Latin because of his prior interest in the classics from studying Classical Greek.
Hedges ended his career of reporting in active conflicts in October 2000.
Terrorism coverage and Iraq War (2001''2005) [ edit ] Hedges was based in Paris following the attacks of 9/11, covering Al Qaeda in Europe and the Middle East. He was a member of a New York Times investigative team that won the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting in 2002 for their coverage of Al Qaeda. Hedges also received the Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism in 2002. Hedges' contribution to the Times award was an October 2001 article describing Al Qaeda's foiled bombing plot of the Embassy of the United States, Paris.
Reporting from coached defectors [ edit ] In a collaboration between The New York Times and Frontline, Hedges authored three articles covering the claims of false Iraqi defectors. Hedges worked on the behalf of Lowell Bergman of Frontline, who could not travel to Beirut to interview the purported defectors. The trip was organized by Ahmed Chalabi, who Hedges considered to be unreliable. The first defector Hedges interviewed identified themselves as Lt. General Jamal al-Ghurairy. Hedges consulted the U.S. Embassy in Turkey to confirm their identity, and the embassy falsely did so as the real al-Ghurairy had never left Iraq.
Hedges wrote a November 8, 2001 Times cover story about two former Iraqi military commanders who claimed to have trained foreign mujahedeen how to hijack planes and destroy vital American infrastructure. The two defectors also asserted there was a secret compound in Salman Pak facility where a German scientist was producing biological weapons. The Frontline report featured statements from American officials who doubted the claims of the defectors.
Conservative outlets referenced the articles in justifying the invasion of Iraq. In the aftermath of the revelations that the Iraqi defectors were not legitimate, Hedges defended his comportment since he had done the story as a favor to Lowell Bergman, adding that "There has to be a level of trust between reporters. We cover each other's sources when it's a good story because otherwise everyone would get hold of it."
Exit from the Times [ edit ] In 2003, Hedges gave a commencement speech at the graduation ceremony for Rockford College in which he criticized the ongoing American invasion of Iraq. His speech was received with boos, and his microphone was shut off three minutes after he began speaking. Hedges had to end the commencement speech short because of the various student disruptions, which included an additional microphone cut, foghorns, and chants of "God Bless America."
The New York Times criticized Hedges' statements and issued him a formal reprimand for "public remarks that could undermine public trust in the paper's impartiality". Hedges cited this reprimand as a motivation for resigning from the Times in 2005.
During the uncertainty following the loss of employment, Hedges was looking for posts to teach high school English classes. In a 2008 interview, Hedges acknowledged that he ultimately had not struggled, adding that "every year since I left the Times, I've made at least twice the salary I made at the paper. So, in a way, I didn't pay for it. And I have maintained what is most valuable to me, which is my integrity and my voice."
Later career [ edit ] In 2005, Hedges became a senior fellow at Type Media Center, and a columnist at Truthdig, in addition to writing books and teaching inmates at a New Jersey correctional institution.
In 2006, Hedges was awarded a Lannan Literary Fellowship for Nonfiction.
Truthdig (2006''2020) [ edit ] Hedges produced a weekly column in Truthdig for 14 years. He was fired along with all of the editorial staff in March 2020. Hedges and the staff had gone on strike earlier in the month to protest the publisher's attempt to fire the Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer, demand an end to a series of unfair labor practices and the right to form a union. Hedges resumed work with Scheer after the launch of Scheerpost.
In June 2014, Christopher Ketcham published an article on The New Republic website accusing Hedges of improper citations in several Truthdig columns, alleging the offenses constituted plagiarism. In response, some formatting and reference errors were corrected on the implicated Truthdig posts. Additional accusations of plagiarism from Ketcham were countered by an independent investigation from the Type Media Center. The Washington Free Beacon reported that a spokesperson for The New York Times said it "did not have reason to believe Hedges plagiarized in his work for the paper" and had no plans to investigate Hedges for plagiarism.
Prison writing teacher [ edit ] Hedges has worked for a decade teaching writing classes in prisons in New Jersey through a program offered by Princeton University and later Rutgers University. A class that Hedges taught at East Jersey State Prison in 2013 went on to collaborate in the creation of a play titled Caged. Hedges has become a fierce critic of mass incarceration in the United States, and his experience as an educator in New Jersey prisons served as inspiration for his 2021 book Our Class: Trauma and Transformation in an American Prison.
Ordination and ministerial installation [ edit ] On October 5, 2014, Hedges was ordained a minister within the Presbyterian Church. He was installed as Associate Pastor and Minister of Social Witness and Prison Ministry at the Second Presbyterian Church Elizabeth in Elizabeth, New Jersey. He mentioned being rejected for ordination 30 years earlier, saying that "going to El Salvador as a reporter was not something the Presbyterian Church at the time recognized as a valid ministry, and a committee rejected my 'call.'"
On Contact (2016''2022) [ edit ] Hedges began hosting the television show On Contact for the Russian-government owned network RT America in June 2016. Hedges, initially unfamiliar with the network, was approached to make a show by RT America president Mikhail "Misha" Solodovnikov, who personally guaranteed Hedges' editorial independence.
On Contact provided commentary on social issues, often profiling nonfiction authors and their recently published works with Hedges aiming to follow the approach of former public television shows. On Contact was nominated for an Emmy in 2017, RT America's first significant award nomination, but the award was won by Steve.
On March 3, 2022, RT America ceased operations following the widespread deplatforming of Russian-sponsored media caused by the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. The run of On Contact ended. In a March 7, 2022 Scheerpost column (reprinted by Salon), Hedges contrasted the reprimand he received from The New York Times for his Iraq War opposition to RT America, who made no comment on Hedges' condemnation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Hedges said he "might have paid with" his job for making negative comments about the war in Ukraine, "but at least for those six days", after the invasion, he remained in post.
Hedges, in collaboration with The Real News Network, began production in April 2022 for a web series called The Chris Hedges Report.
Political views [ edit ] Class struggle defines most of human history. Marx got this right. It is not a new story. The rich, throughout history, have found ways to subjugate and re-subjugate the masses. And the masses, throughout history, have cyclically awoken to throw off their chains.
'--Chris Hedges "America's New Class War", Scheerpost, January 18, 2022
Hedges has described himself as a socialist and an anarchist. His books Death of the Liberal Class and Empire of Illusion are strongly critical of American liberalism.
Hedges' 2007 book American Fascists describes the fundamentalist Christian right in the United States as a fascist movement. In March 2008, Hedges published the book I Don't Believe in Atheists, in which he argues that new atheism presents a danger that is similar to religious extremism.
Environmental views [ edit ] This section
needs expansion. You can help by
adding to it.
( March 2022
) On September 20, 2014, a day before the People's Climate March, Hedges joined Bernie Sanders, Naomi Klein, Bill McKibben, and Kshama Sawant on a panel moderated by WNYC's Brian Lehrer to discuss the issue of climate change.
Hedges has argued that the impact of population growth must be addressed, saying "all measures to thwart the degradation and destruction of our ecosystem will be useless if we do not cut population growth."
Occupy involvement [ edit ] Hedges appeared as a guest on an October 2011 episode of the CBC News Network's Lang and O'Leary Exchange to discuss his support for the Occupy Wall Street protests; co-host Kevin O'Leary criticized him, saying that he sounded "like a left-wing nutbar". Hedges said "it will be the last time" he appears on the show, and compared the CBC to Fox News. CBC's ombudsman found O'Leary's heated remarks to be a violation of the public broadcaster's journalistic standards.
On November 3, 2011, Hedges was arrested with others in New York City as part of the Occupy Wall Street demonstration, during which the activists staged a "people's hearing" on the activities of the investment bank Goldman Sachs and blocked the entrance to their corporate headquarters.
NDAA lawsuit [ edit ] In 2012, after the Obama administration signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Hedges sued members of the US government, asserting that Section 1021 of the law unconstitutionally allowed presidential authority for indefinite detention without habeas corpus. He was later joined in the suit, Hedges v. Obama, by activists including Noam Chomsky and Daniel Ellsberg. In May 2012 Judge Katherine B. Forrest of the Southern District of New York ruled that the counter-terrorism provision of the NDAA is unconstitutional. The Obama administration appealed the decision and it was overturned in July 2013 by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Hedges petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case, but the Supreme Court denied certiorari in April 2014.
Hedges was previously a plaintiff in Clapper v. Amnesty International.
Campaigns [ edit ] In the 2008 United States presidential campaign, Hedges was a speech writer for candidate Ralph Nader. Hedges supported Green Party candidate Jill Stein in the 2016 election.
On April 15, 2016, Hedges was arrested, along with 100 other protesters, during a sit-in outside the Capitol building in Washington D.C. during Democracy Spring to protest corporate political influence.
On May 27, 2020, Hedges announced that he would run as a Green Party candidate in New Jersey's 12th congressional district for the 2020 elections. After being informed the following day that running for office would conflict with FCC fairness doctrine rules because he was at that time hosting the nationally broadcast RT America television show On Contact, Hedges decided not to pursue office in order to keep hosting the show.
In September 2020, Hedges spoke at the Movement for a People's Party convention.
Later writings [ edit ] This section
needs expansion. You can help by
adding to it.
( March 2022
) Views on the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine [ edit ] In a March 2022 piece for the Salon website, Hedges wrote that the Russian invasion of Ukraine was "a criminal war of aggression", but argued the likelihood of conflict was aggravated by NATO's expansion after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Hedges called NATO's actions a "dangerous and sadly predictable provocation" that baited Russia to initiate a conflict. Hedges called for an immediate ceasefire and "a moratorium on arms shipments to Ukraine and the withdrawal of Russian troops from the country." He further added that the invasion was "stoked in part by NATO expansion beyond the borders of a unified Germany violating promises made to Moscow at the end of the Cold War, now looks set to become a lengthy war of attrition, one funded and backed by an increasingly bellicose United States." Hedges was critical of the $40 billion aid package for Ukraine in a May 2022 piece in Salon, which he says demonstrates that the United States is "trapped in the death spiral of unchecked militarism" as the country "rots, morally, politically, economically, and physically" with no real plans to address the epidemic of mass shootings, decaying infrastructure, lack of universal healthcare, ever rising inequality, student debt, child poverty and the opioid epidemic.
In his 2022 book The Greatest Evil is War, Hedges writes:
Preemptive war, whether in Iraq or Ukraine, is a war crime. It does not matter if the war is launched on the basis of lies and fabrications, as was the case in Iraq, or because of the breaking of a series of agreements with Russia, including the promise by Washington not to extend NATO beyond the borders of a unified Germany, not to deploy thousands of NATO troops in Central and Eastern Europe, and not to meddle in the internal affairs of nations on Russia's border, as well as the refusal to implement the Minsk peace agreement. The invasion of Ukraine would, I expect, never have happened if these promises had been kept. Russia has every right to feel threatened, betrayed, and angry. But to understand is not to condone. The invasion of Ukraine, under post-Nuremberg laws, is a criminal war of aggression.
Personal life [ edit ] Hedges is married to the Canadian actress Eunice Wong. The couple have two children. He also has two children from a previous marriage. Hedges currently lives in Princeton, New Jersey.
Hedges has post-traumatic stress disorder from his experience reporting in war zones, and was once suicidal as a result of trauma.
In November 2014, Hedges announced that he and his family had become vegan. He compared his decision to a vow of abstinence, adding that it is necessary "to make radical changes to save ourselves from ecological meltdown." Hedges authored an introduction to a vegan cookbook in 2015, The Anarchist Cookbook, written by Keith McHenry and Chaz Bufe. His wife, Eunice Wong, is a vegan activist and writer.
Hedges speaks Levantine Arabic, French, and Spanish in addition to his native English.
Books [ edit ] 2002: War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (ISBN 1-58648-049-9)2003: What Every Person Should Know About War (ISBN 1-4177-2104-9)2005: Losing Moses on the Freeway: The 10 Commandments in America (ISBN 0-7432-5513-5)2007: American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America (ISBN 0-7432-8443-7)2008: I Don't Believe in Atheists (ISBN 1-4165-6795-X)2008: Collateral Damage: America's War Against Iraqi Civilians, with Laila Al-Arian (ISBN 1-56858-373-7)2009: When Atheism Becomes Religion: America's New Fundamentalists, (ISBN 978-1-4165-7078-3), a retitled edition of I Don't Believe in Atheists2009: Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle (ISBN 978-1-56858-437-9)2010: Death of the Liberal Class (ISBN 978-1-56858-644-1)2010: The World As It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress (ISBN 978-1-56858-640-3)2012: Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, with Joe Sacco (ISBN 978-1-56858-643-4)2015: Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt (ISBN 1-56858-966-2)2016: Unspeakable (ISBN 1-5107-1273-9)2018: America: The Farewell Tour (ISBN 978-1-5011-5267-2)2021 Our Class: Trauma and Transformation in an American Prison (ISBN 978-1982154431)2022 The Greatest Evil is War (ISBN 978-1644212936)See also [ edit ] Christian leftSacrifice zoneTomas Young § The Last LetterReferences [ edit ] ^ a b Saltman, Bethany (December 2008). "Moral Combat: Chris Hedges on War, Faith, and Fundamentalism". The Sun: 8. Archived from the original on June 29, 2020 . Retrieved June 26, 2020 . ^ Ryan, Danielle (January 10, 2017). "RT America Was Not 'Pro-Trump' ". The Nation. Archived from the original on September 20, 2019 . Retrieved August 4, 2019 . ^ a b c d e f Kang, Cecilia (March 12, 2022). "What It Was Like to Work for Russian State Television". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on March 13, 2022 . Retrieved March 13, 2022 . ^ Gilbert, Ellen (February 2, 2013). "Chris Hedges: The News Is Not Good". Princeton Magazine. pp. 26''30. Archived from the original on January 10, 2022 . Retrieved July 8, 2021 . ^ a b c Rein, Richard K. "At the ramparts with Chris Hedges". CommunityNews.org. Archived from the original on January 10, 2022 . Retrieved January 10, 2022 . ^ Hedges, Chris; Doughty, Howard A. (2008). "I Don't Believe in Atheists". collegequarterly.ca. 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Turning the Tide: U.S. Intervention in Central America and the Struggle for Peace. Boston: South End Press. p. 259. ^ "The Miracle of Kindness: Chris Hedges". Archived from the original on December 13, 2021 '' via youtube.com. ^ "Israel's Toy Soldiers". Common Dreams. October 1, 2007. Archived from the original on June 25, 2020 . Retrieved June 22, 2020 . ^ Fisher, Dan (July 30, 1988). "Bombing Trial Is Snarled in U.S.-Israeli Treaty Issue". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on June 22, 2020 . Retrieved June 22, 2020 . ^ "Robert Manning Sentenced to Life in Prison for 1980 Mail Bomb Killing". JTA.org. Jewish Telegraphic Agency. February 10, 1994. Archived from the original on June 25, 2020 . Retrieved June 22, 2020 . ^ a b "Reporting America at War . Chris Hedges . On working outside the Gulf War pool system | PBS". PBS. Archived from the original on June 25, 2020 . Retrieved June 22, 2020 . ^ Apple, R. W., Jr (February 12, 1991). "War in the Gulf: The Press; Correspondents Protest Pool System". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on June 25, 2020 . Retrieved June 22, 2020 . ^ Hedges, Chris (March 12, 1991). "After the War: Journalists; A Reporter in Iraq's Hands: Amid the Fear, Parlor Games". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on June 25, 2020 . Retrieved June 22, 2020 . ^ Pope, Hugh (April 5, 1994). "Iraq accused over murder of German reporter". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on June 26, 2020 . Retrieved June 22, 2020 . ^ "3,777 Shells fired at Sarajevo on the 22nd of July 1993". Sarajevo Times. July 22, 2017. Archived from the original on January 10, 2022 . Retrieved August 2, 2020 . ^ Hedges, Chris (July 28, 1995). "Conflict in the Balkans: The People; War Turns Sarajevo Away From Europe". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on March 7, 2016 . Retrieved August 2, 2020 . ^ Hedges, Chris (July 13, 1995). "Conflict in the Balkans: The Overview; Serbs Start Moving Muslims Out of Captured Territory". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on May 26, 2015 . Retrieved August 2, 2020 . ^ Hedges, Chris (January 11, 1996). "Bosnian Mine Is Thought to Hold Evidence of Mass Killings". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on May 5, 2021 . Retrieved August 2, 2020 . ^ Hedges, Chris (June 22, 1998). "Both Sides in the Kosovo Conflict Seem Determined to Ignore Reality". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on May 27, 2015 . Retrieved August 2, 2020 . ^ Hedges, Chris (June 25, 1999). "The Separatists: Kosovo's Rebels Accused of Executions in the Ranks". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 1, 2020 . Retrieved August 2, 2020 . ^ Kwai, Isabella (November 5, 2020). "Kosovo President Resigns to Fight War Crimes Case in the Netherlands". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on November 8, 2020 . Retrieved November 20, 2020 . ^ "In Yugoslavia, the Consequences of Not Reporting the Truth". Nieman Reports. Archived from the original on September 20, 2020 . Retrieved August 2, 2020 . ^ Hedges, Chris (July 1, 2000). "What I Read at War". Harvard Magazine. Archived from the original on January 25, 2021 . Retrieved August 2, 2020 . ^ Barringer, Felicity (April 9, 2002). "Pulitzers Focus on Sept. 11, and The Times Wins 7". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on January 26, 2021 . Retrieved August 2, 2020 . ^ a b "Chris Hedges, Columnist". Truthdig. Archived from the original on September 28, 2013 . Retrieved September 28, 2013 . ^ Hedges, Chris (October 28, 2001). "A Nation Challenged: Police Work; The Inner Workings of a Plot to Blow Up the U.S. Embassy in Paris". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on February 12, 2021 . Retrieved August 2, 2020 . ^ a b "Parts One + Two - The Press' Reporting On Wmd | News War | FRONTLINE | PBS". www.pbs.org. Archived from the original on January 12, 2022 . Retrieved January 12, 2022 . ^ a b c Fairweather, Jack (March''April 2006). "Heroes in Error". Mother Jones. Archived from the original on November 11, 2013 . Retrieved November 17, 2013 . How a fake general, a pliant media, and a master manipulator helped lead the United States into war. ^ Hedges, Chris (November 8, 2001). "A Nation Challenged, The School; Defectors Cite Iraqi Training For Terrorism". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on October 29, 2021 . Retrieved January 12, 2022 . ^ Hedges, Chris (November 8, 2001). "Defectors Cite Iraqi Training for Terrorism". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 10, 2022 . Retrieved November 17, 2013 . ^ Footage of the speech on YouTube; Rockford College, May 2003 ^ "New York Times Reporter, Chris Hedges was Booed off the Stage and had his Microphone Cut Twice as he Delivered a Graduation Speech on War and Empire at Rockford College in Illinois". Democracy Now!. May 21, 2014. Archived from the original on November 21, 2014 . Retrieved November 24, 2014 . ^ a b Hume, Brit (March 25, 2015). "The New York Times in the News ... Again". Fox News. Archived from the original on March 19, 2022 . Retrieved March 19, 2022 . ^ "The Rockford Fouls". The Wall Street Journal. May 23, 2003. ISSN 0099-9660. Archived from the original on January 21, 2022 . Retrieved January 21, 2022 . ^ "There's a Time and a Place, Folks". Fox News. March 25, 2015. Archived from the original on March 19, 2022 . Retrieved March 19, 2022 . ^ a b Hedges, Chris; A Father's Gift, Dallas Morning News, June 17, 2006, accessed December 21, 2010 [dead link ] ^ "The Nation Institute". Archived from the original on June 1, 2015 . Retrieved April 1, 2013 . ^ "Chris Hedges". Lannan Foundation. Archived from the original on October 1, 2020 . Retrieved March 16, 2022 . ^ "Truthdig: About Us". Archived from the original on August 1, 2017 . Retrieved September 27, 2014 . ^ "Truthdig staff laid off amid work stoppage". Salon. March 28, 2020. Archived from the original on June 9, 2020 . Retrieved June 9, 2020 . ^ Ketcham, Christopher (June 12, 2014). "The Troubling Case of Chris Hedges". The New Republic. Archived from the original on November 15, 2016 . Retrieved November 16, 2016 . ^ Hedges, Chris (June 16, 2014). "Response by Hedges to Allegations by Ketcham in TNR". The Real News Network. Archived from the original on February 12, 2021 . Retrieved February 9, 2021 . ^ Ketcham, Christopher (June 12, 2014). "The Troubling Case of Chris Hedges". The New Republic. ISSN 0028-6583. Archived from the original on February 2, 2021 . Retrieved February 9, 2021 . ^ "Chris Hedges Defends Himself Against Accusations of Plagiarism'--and Christopher Ketcham Responds". The New Republic. June 17, 2014. ISSN 0028-6583. Archived from the original on November 11, 2020 . Retrieved August 10, 2020 . ^ Alana Goodman (June 12, 2014). "NY Times Won't Investigate Hedges' Work Amid Plagiarism Charge". The Washington Free Beacon. Archived from the original on January 8, 2015 . Retrieved January 15, 2015 . ^ Pauchet, Maddy (April 16, 2017). "An Interview with Chris Hedges and Boris Franklin". Nassau Weekly. Archived from the original on September 22, 2020 . Retrieved August 2, 2020 . ^ Pauchet, Maddy (April 16, 2017). "An Interview with Chris Hedges and Boris Franklin". Nassau Weekly. Archived from the original on September 22, 2020 . Retrieved August 2, 2020 . ^ "Why Mass Incarceration Defines Us As a Society". Smithsonian Magazine. Archived from the original on November 29, 2020 . Retrieved December 30, 2020 . ^ "Leadership of the Second Presbyterian Church in Elizabeth, NJ". Archived from the original on February 16, 2015 . Retrieved April 27, 2015 . ^ "Ordained to Write". Truthdig. October 13, 2014. Archived from the original on October 15, 2014 . Retrieved October 19, 2014 . ^ Hedges, Chris (March 8, 2022). "In war, there are no 'worthy' or 'unworthy' victims: That's how we justify our crimes". Salon. Archived from the original on May 13, 2022. ^ "The Chris Hedges Report". The Real News Network . Retrieved May 2, 2022 . ^ Hedges, Chris (January 18, 2022). "America's New Class War". Scheerpost. Archived from the original on January 19, 2022 . Retrieved January 19, 2022 . ^ Hedges, Chris (August 21, 2018). America: The Farewell Tour. Simon & Schuster. p. 303. ISBN 978-0-73527-596-6. As a socialist I am not concerned with what is expedient or what is popular. I am concerned with what is right and just. ^ "Chris Hedges Interviewed at NYSEC". Youtube. Archived from the original on September 12, 2019 . Retrieved June 28, 2021 . I'm not a Marxist, in that'--I don't like labels'--but I'm probably an anarchist. ^ "Chris Hedges on What it Takes to be a Rebel in Modern Times". Youtube. Archived from the original on September 12, 2019 . Retrieved June 28, 2021 . Anarchist; that's the anarchist in me. ^ Hedges, Chris (2008). I Don't Believe in Atheists. Free Press. ^ "It's Time to Act on the Climate Crisis". TheRealNews.com. September 21, 2014. Archived from the original on January 15, 2015. ^ Boggs, Carl (2012). Ecology and Revolution: Global Crisis and the Political Challenge (Environmental Politics and Theory). Palgrave Macmillan. p. 197. ISBN 978-1137264039. ^ Crugnale, James (October 12, 2011). "Journalist Chris Hedges Argues With CBC's Kevin O'Leary: 'This Sounds Like Fox News And I Don't Go On Fox News!' ". Mediaite. Archived from the original on February 2, 2014 . Retrieved January 24, 2014 . ^ Szklarski, Cassandra (October 14, 2011). "Kevin O'Leary 'Nutbar' Remark Violated Journalistic Standards: CBC Ombudsman". The Huffington Post Canada. Archived from the original on February 2, 2014 . Retrieved January 24, 2014 . ^ Chris Hedges Arrested in Front of Goldman Sachs Archived June 6, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Truthdig. November 3, 2011. ^ Schapiro, Rich; Kennedy, Helen (November 3, 2011). "More than a dozen Occupy Wall Street protesters arrested outside Goldman Sachs, Reporter/Activist Chris Hedges among those charged]". Daily News. New York. Archived from the original on November 5, 2011 . Retrieved November 4, 2011 . ^ RTAmerica on YouTube ^ Kuipers, Dean (May 18, 2012). "Federal judge blocks National Defense Authorization Act provision". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on June 5, 2012 . Retrieved June 5, 2012 . ^ David Seaman (September 13, 2012). "Obama Has Already Appealed The Indefinite Detention Ruling". Business Insider. Archived from the original on May 13, 2013 . Retrieved May 15, 2013 . ^ Denniston, Lyle (April 28, 2014). "Detention challenge denied". SCOTUSblog.com. Archived from the original on April 29, 2014 . Retrieved April 29, 2014 . ^ "Order List: 572 U. S. 13-758 Hedges, Christopher, et Al. V. Obama, Pres. Of U.S., et Al. '' Certiorari Denied" (PDF) . United States Supreme Court. April 29, 2014. p. 7. Archived (PDF) from the original on April 29, 2014 . Retrieved April 29, 2014 . ^ Sanchez, Julian (July 10, 2008). "ACLU, others greet Bush FISA bill signing with new lawsuit". Ars Technica . Retrieved May 1, 2022 . ^ David Barsamian (August 2011). "An Interview with Chris Hedges". The Progressive. Archived from the original on December 4, 2014 . Retrieved November 27, 2014 . ^ "Rosario Dawson Among 100 Democracy Spring Protesters Arrested at U.S. Capitol". DCMediaGroup. April 15, 2016. Archived from the original on April 22, 2016 . Retrieved June 16, 2016 . ^ "Author Chris Hedges Announces CD12 Run As Green Party Candidate". Insider NJ. May 27, 2020. Archived from the original on June 6, 2020 . Retrieved May 30, 2020 . ^ "Hedges Ends Short-Lived CD12 Green Party Candidacy; Prohibited By FCC Rules". Insider NJ. May 28, 2020. Archived from the original on June 9, 2020 . Retrieved May 30, 2020 . ^ Griffiths, Shawn (August 31, 2020). "More Than 400,000 Tune In to 'People's Convention'; Overwhelmingly Vote to Form New Party". Independent Voter News. Archived from the original on September 25, 2020 . Retrieved September 26, 2020 . ^ Hedges, Chris (March 1, 2022). "War is the greatest evil: Russia was baited into this crime '-- but that's no excuse". Salon. Archived from the original on March 1, 2022 . Retrieved March 1, 2022 . ^ "The Chris Hedges Report: Ukraine and the resurgence of American militarism". YouTube. ^ Hedges, Chris (May 26, 2022). "A return to permanent war is here: First it will bankrupt America, then destroy it". Salon . Retrieved May 31, 2022 . ^ Hedges, Chris (2022). The Greatest Evil is War. Seven Stories Press. p. 1. ISBN 978-1644212936. ^ "Eunice Wong: Biography". Archived from the original on May 6, 2016 . Retrieved May 14, 2016 . ^ "Americans Who Tell the Truth.org "Chris Hedges Biography" ". Robert Shetterly. Archived from the original on December 9, 2014 . Retrieved January 15, 2015 . ^ Kennedy, Paul (February 9, 2015). "Ex-correspondent Chris Hedges on covering war, dealing with PTSD". CBC Radio-Canada. Archived from the original on March 29, 2022 . Retrieved March 29, 2022 . ^ "Saving the Planet, One Meal at a Time". Truthdig. November 10, 2014. Archived from the original on July 20, 2017 . Retrieved November 12, 2014 . ^ Werbe, Peter (2016). "An Anarchist Cookbook That Actually Has Recipes!". Fifth Estate Magazine. Archived from the original on March 1, 2022 . Retrieved March 1, 2022 . ^ Hedges, Chris (July 10, 2017). "Eating Our Way to Disease". Truthdig. Archived from the original on January 30, 2022 . Retrieved March 18, 2022 . External links [ edit ] APB Speakers Bureau Chris HedgesAppearances on C-SPANChris Hedges on Charlie Rose"Capitalism's 'Sacrifice Zones ' " Bill Moyers talks with Chris Hedges, and comic-journalist Joe Sacco talking about their collaboration and showing drawings for their book Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, July 20, 2012. Retrieved July 30, 2012Columns by Chris Hedges at TruthdigWhat Every Person Should Know About War, first chapter at The New York TimesChris Hedges at Scheerpost.The Chris Hedges Report at The Real News Network.
State Surgeon General Dr. Joseph A. Ladapo Issues New mRNA COVID-19 Vaccine Guidance
Sun, 09 Oct 2022 13:36
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. '' Today, State Surgeon General Dr. Joseph A. Ladapo has announced new guidance regarding mRNA vaccines. The Florida Department of Health (Department) conducted an analysis through a self-controlled case series, which is a technique originally developed to evaluate vaccine safety.
This analysis found that there is an 84% increase in the relative incidence of cardiac-related death among males 18-39 years old within 28 days following mRNA vaccination. With a high level of global immunity to COVID-19, the benefit of vaccination is likely outweighed by this abnormally high risk of cardiac-related death among men in this age group. Non-mRNA vaccines were not found to have these increased risks.
As such, the State Surgeon General recommends against males aged 18 to 39 from receiving mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. Those with preexisting cardiac conditions, such as myocarditis and pericarditis, should take particular caution when making this decision.
''Studying the safety and efficacy of any medications, including vaccines, is an important component of public health,'' said Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo. ''Far less attention has been paid to safety and the concerns of many individuals have been dismissed '' these are important findings that should be communicated to Floridians.''
The analysis can be found here . The guidance can be found here .
National Security Memorandum on Partial Revocation of Presidential Policy Directive 28 | The White House
Sun, 09 Oct 2022 13:35
NATIONAL SECURITY MEMORANDUM/NSM-14MEMORANDUM FOR THE VICE PRESIDENT
THE SECRETARY OF STATE THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE THE ATTORNEY GENERAL THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE THE SECRETARY OF ENERGY THE SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY THE ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF OF STAFF THE DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF MANANGEMENT AND BUDGET THE UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE THE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA TO THE UNITED NATIONS THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE The DIRECTOR OF THE CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY THE ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT FOR NATIONAL SECURITY AFFAIRS THE COUNSEL TO THE PRESIDENT THE ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT FOR ECONOMIC POLICY AND DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL THE ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT AND HOMELAND SECURITY ADVISOR AND DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR THE CHAIR OF THE COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISERS THE DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY POLICY THE NATIONAL CYBER DIRECTOR THE CHAIRMAN OF THE JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF THE DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY THE DIRECTOR OF THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION THE DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL COUNTERTERRORISM CENTER THE DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL COUNTERINTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY CENTER
SUBJECT: Partial Revocation of Presidential Policy Directive 28
The Executive Order of October 7, 2022 (Enhancing Safeguards for United States Signals Intelligence Activities), establishes enhanced safeguards for United States signals intelligence activities that supersede the safeguards for personal information collected through signals intelligence established by Presidential Policy Directive 28 of January 17, 2014 (Signals Intelligence Activities) (PPD-28). The Executive Order establishes enhanced safeguards in recognition that signals intelligence activities must be conducted in a manner that takes into account that all persons should be treated with dignity and respect, regardless of their nationality or wherever they might reside, and that all persons have legitimate privacy interests in the handling of their personal information. In addition, signals intelligence activities present the potential for national security damage if improperly disclosed. Therefore, it is essential to maintain the policy process refined by section 3 of PPD-28 and supplemented by the classified annex to PPD-28, under which national security policymakers consider carefully the value of signals intelligence activities to our national interests and the risks entailed in conducting those activities.
Section 1. Revocation. PPD-28 is hereby revoked except for sections 3 and 6 of that directive and the classified annex to that directive, which remain in effect. Section 2. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this memorandum shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department, agency, or the head thereof; or
(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(b) This memorandum shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(c) This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.
UK's National Grid planning for 3-hour blackouts this winter -- Society's Child -- Sott.net
Sun, 09 Oct 2022 13:31
Great Britain's National Grid said Thursday it is planning three-hour blackouts in parts of the country through the winter, according to a report from Wales Online.
The decision is part of National Grid's recent attempts to protect its network and keep up supply. The company's Electricity System Operator (ESO) predicted Britain is set for a "challenging" winter as the energy crisis continues, Wales Online reported. Residents will be paid to not use their washing machines or charge their cars during the island nation's peak hours in another effort to maintain supply, the outlet noted.
National Grid is also proposing the forced blackouts to test what would happen if there was insufficient gas supplies or otherwise no imports of electricity from the European continent, Wales Online continued.
Similar planned blackouts occurred during the 1970s in response to the miner strike and oil crisis, brought on by the British government's decision to close mines despite plenty of minerals used for energy production remaining inside.
The three-hour blackouts are the most extreme of three possible scenarios suggested by ESO, Wales Online continued. The two other scenarios include paying people to charge their electric cars overnight or at other off-peak times, as well as restarting the grid's backup coal plants.
Many people in Europe and the UK are already choosing between eating and heating as the global economic crisis takes hold, largely brought about by lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic and stress on
energy supplies from the war between Russia and Ukraine.
The move by Britain's National Grid comes days after Bangladesh was plunged into darkness as an issue in the government-run power grid shut down 80% of the nation's electricity. Similar energy issues could strike the US as both the global energy and financial crises continue through 2022 and into 2023.
How a Dog's Killing Turned Brooklyn Progressives Against One Another '' DNyuz
Sun, 09 Oct 2022 13:29
Real-world ethics question: In a well-used city park, a man with a history of erratic behavior attacks a dog and its owner with a stick; five days later, the dog dies. The man is Black, the dog owner white; the adjoining neighborhood is famously progressive, often critical of the police and jail system. At the same time, crime is up in the neighborhood, with attacks by emotionally disturbed people around the city putting some residents on edge.
In a dog-loving, progressive enclave, where pushing law and order can clash with calls for social justice, what's the right thing to do? How do you protect the public without furthering injustice against this man?
Here's what happened in Park Slope, Brooklyn, when real-life residents faced this situation.
On Aug. 3, Jessica Chrustic, 40, a professional beekeeper, was walking her dog in Prospect Park a little after 6 a.m. when she saw a man rifling through the garbage outside the Picnic House. She had seen the man before '-- tall, with dreadlocks wrapped in a turban, carrying a long staff and often muttering to himself or cursing '-- and she usually kept her distance. But this morning there was no room to avoid him.
According to Ms. Chrustic, he started yelling about immigrants taking over the park, then grabbed a bottle of what she later concluded was urine and sloshed it at her and her dog. She tried to run away, but Moose, her 80-pound golden retriever mix, was straining toward the man, trying to protect her.
The man started swinging the stick, she said. One blow hit her, not seriously. Another connected solidly with the dog's snout. Mary Rowland, 56, a hospital manager who was walking her dog nearby, said she heard the crack of wood on bone and came running toward them, screaming at the man to get away.
Both women called 911, and four patrol cars arrived within a few minutes. But by then, the man was gone. ''Moose was bleeding from his mouth and pulling to get home,'' Ms. Chrustic said. ''My focus was just on caring for him.''
Ms. Chrustic was physically unhurt, but she was shaken. How could this happen in a park where she had never felt unsafe, even walking her dog late at night?
Moose had a shattered tooth that needed to be pulled. Ms. Chrustic posted a description of the encounter on the neighborhood social network Nextdoor, warning others about the man and asking them to report any sightings to the police. Her post elicited more than 280 comments in the coming weeks, mostly expressing sympathy. A total stranger on the forum offered to make her a bracelet with the name Moose on it.
But then the next weekend, Moose developed sepsis from a perforated intestine, caused by a blow Ms. Chrustic had not noticed. After emergency surgery, Moose died.
Weeks passed, and the man who attacked the dog was still at large. People on Nextdoor, working from Ms. Chrustic's description, posted that they had seen him in one part of the park or another. Ms. Chrustic, who used to visit the park four times a day, now found it too traumatic to enter unless necessary.
She was especially frustrated that the man, who was well known to people in the park, had not been arrested. ''You have a person who is walking around the park who is violent and needs to be removed,'' she said. ''He's known by the community. It's disheartening.''
It was a random incident that might once have been discussed by a group of dog owners. But now it had a forum for a much wider community, with arguments about policing, vigilantism, homelessness, mental health care and progressive obstinacy all feeding into a conversation that evolved beyond the crime that set it off.
''It's complicated,'' said S. Matthew Liao, a professor of bioethics, philosophy and public health at New York University. ''It's a conflict of values, between wanting security and social justice. Everybody has a responsibility in some ways.
''There are a bunch of issues here, a bunch of threats,'' he added. ''We can deal with them in a compassionate way, or a not compassionate way.''
The Nextdoor effectNextdoor, which claims an average of 37 million users per week, started in 2010 with the promise of connecting people with their neighbors and neighborhoods. One slogan went, ''When neighbors start talking, good things happen.''
One thing they talked about, a lot, was local crime. In Nextdoor forums for communities all over the country, this included suspected crime and sightings of ''suspicious'' characters, leading early critics to say that what the platform really propagated was white fear. After complaints about racial profiling in 2016, the company instituted diversity training for its operations staff and new protocols for posts about crime and safety. But even in 2020, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez characterized it as an outlet for privileged white people to vent criminal fantasies about their Black and brown neighbors. She tweeted, ''@Nextdoor needs to publicly deal w/ their Karen problem.''
A Nextdoor spokesperson said the company enables users to report any posts that they find offensive or discriminatory, which are then reviewed by volunteer community moderators or staff members. In 2021, only 1 percent of posts were reported as hurtful or harmful; about half of these were removed.
When Ms. Chrustic posted about the attack, the first responses were mostly notes of condolence and support. People with dogs posted that they had seen the man in the same area where she was attacked '-- why weren't the police arresting him? Donations poured in to offset her veterinary bills.
But gradually, other voices emerged. A vocal minority asked why Park Slope residents, mostly white, were calling for the police to take down a man who appeared to be homeless and emotionally disturbed. Others called the man a ''monster,'' a ''predator'' or a ''psychopath.'' As on other social media platforms, the most ardent voices made the most noise.
Martin Lofsnes, 52, a dancer and choreographer who moved out of the neighborhood in 2020, came across the conversation while trying to sell some stuff and was appalled by the vitriol directed at an impoverished man, and by what he called ''this vigilante attitude.''
He urged people on the thread to put their emotions aside and consider ''400 yrs of systematic racism which has prevented black people from building generational wealth through homeownership resulting in the extreme disparity we see today.'' Arresting the man, he wrote, would solve none of that.
With all the affluence in Park Slope, he posted, maybe critics should raise money to help the man, not throw him to the lethal jail system, from which he would most likely emerge more dangerous, or not emerge at all.
Others called Mr. Lofsnes na¯ve or accused him of mansplaining, or told him to take his comments to another thread.
''It's easy to say that you're for prison reform and you're a liberal, until it happens to you,'' Mr. Lofsnes said in an interview. ''When it happens to you, you have to deal with it. You have to take a step back, even in that heated situation where her dog died, and say, 'What does this do in the larger scheme of things?'''
To Ms. Chrustic and many on Nextdoor, the issue was simple: A man who killed a dog and attacked its owner was a risk to everyone. She asked people who saw the man to call 911 and to send her photographs so she could confirm that it was really him.
Though most people on the site were supportive, some of the commentary and messages disturbed her. She was accused of not cooperating with the police; some suggested that she did not deserve a dog because she had not protected hers. ''People can be horrible,'' she said. ''And people also take it as an opportunity to vent. It becomes a politically divisive conversation I have no interest in being a part of.''
She worked with a police artist to create a sketch of the man, even though part of his face had been covered during the attack. The sketch went up on Nextdoor, and police officers posted it in the park, prompting more reports of sightings.
For Nicole Haddad, who stopped going to the park with her pitbull-vizsla mix, Kingsley, after he was the victim of a similar attack three years ago, Ms. Chrustic's posts hit home. Since then, Ms. Haddad said, Kingsley has been fearful and sometimes aggressive and has needed expensive behavioral specialists and anti-anxiety medication.
''When I read Jessica's post, I got really, really triggered,'' she said. ''I just knew the journey that Jessica was going to be in for, because it's caused me emotional and financial duress. I reached out to her immediately.'' The two women compared information and concluded that their dogs were attacked by the same man. To the people who focused more on social justice than removing a threat, Ms. Haddad said: ''I tell those people to shut up. They don't have a leg to stand on.''
''I don't care that it's being divisive, and that people don't want to see this guy die in Rikers Island,'' Ms. Haddad added. ''I'm a New York liberal. I am absolutely for people getting the help they need. But this person is attacking people and killing dogs. He's targeting women and dogs. He's violent. He should not be in the park. He should be locked up and paying for his actions.''
Don't be a cop, KrisKristian Nammack, 59, who works in sustainable financing, read the Moose posts on Nextdoor and grew frustrated that nothing seemed to be happening. So he decided to do something about it. He invited people on Nextdoor and Meetup to form a neighborhood watch group to ''take our neighborhood back.'' As an enticement, he created a logo and printed 10 T-shirts. ''We may also get to wear cool berets,'' his solicitation offered, nodding to the Guardian Angels, an anti-crime ''safety patrol'' prominent in the '70s and '80s.
Mr. Nammack's name for the new group: Park Slope Panthers.
He did not see the backlash coming.
''In my mind it was getting people to provide some visibility of community members in the park, especially at hours when women feel vulnerable, like 6 to 9,'' he said. ''Not vigilantes, not with guns, not with the intention to tackle an attacker, but just to be another physical presence. I think just a presence deters crime.''
Mr. Nammack, who was involved in ACT UP and Occupy Sandy, presents himself as a soft-spoken voice of reason, with a Quaker background and a longstanding commitment to progressive causes. He was surprised suddenly to be embraced by people to the right of him. He said he was invited to appear on ''Tucker Carlson Tonight'' and to meet with Curtis Sliwa, the Guardian Angels founder who ran a tough-on-crime campaign for mayor. Flustered, he declined both.
Then there was the group's name, which was an immediate flash point: a white financial services guy using the Panther name to take action against a Black man. At the group's first and only meeting, the scattering of potential volunteers was met by a group of four people, all white, who showed up to disrupt the proceedings.
As described in the news site Hell Gate and the newsletter Common Sense, things went awry almost from the start. A man calling himself Snow told the group, ''We are super not into you guys having your meeting, or doing anything in the park,'' according to Hell Gate. ''The opposite of what we need right now is more cops in this park and more people who want to be helping the cops in this park, when people are already being, like, chased down by the cops.''
To the delight of people who enjoy making fun of Park Slope liberals, one of the disrupters, a woman calling herself Sky, said, ''Crime is an abstract term that means nothing in a lot of ways,'' according to Common Sense.
A few days after the meeting, someone spray-painted the sidewalk outside Mr. Nammack's apartment: ''Don't Be a Cop, Kris.'' It rattled him. ''Even being gay, I don't know that I've ever been the target of hate,'' he said. ''I felt that I was the target of hate.'' He decided he did not have the time or energy to continue the group.
On Nextdoor, people seemed to be dug into their positions. Many bundled the lack of an arrest with the rise of other crimes in the neighborhood. Serious crimes in the 78th Precinct, which includes Park Slope, are up 50 percent from two years ago, though well below the highs of the early 1990s.
A spokesperson for the Police Department said they were conducting canvasses of the park but would not comment on why there had been no arrest. At a virtual town meeting, Capt. Frantz Souffrant noted that numerous people in the area wear dreadlocks and carry staves. Ms. Rowland '-- the woman who witnessed the assault '-- went on at least three rides with officers to confirm a sighting. Each time the person was gone, or it was the wrong man.
Both Ms. Chrustic and Mr. Nammack separately appealed to their representative on the City Council, Shahana Hanif, for help, but they came away feeling her staff members were more concerned with the safety of the man '-- whom they presumed to be homeless and mentally ill '-- than with the threat he might pose to others.
Mr. Nammack said he was told: '''We don't want the police involved in this.''' He said, ''They didn't seem concerned that there was a public safety threat with this man at large, and that he needs to be dealt with. The bigger concern was keeping this man out of Rikers, and let's not do anything.''
Under New York law, depending on the level of cruelty, killing a dog can be a misdemeanor or a felony, carrying a prison sentence of up to two years. Michael Whitesides, a spokesperson for Ms. Hanif, called the situation complicated. ''We don't believe that the N.Y.P.D. is the vehicle to bring safety to our community,'' Mx. Whitesides said. ''When it comes to this individual, they're clearly a present danger to others and most likely themselves, and figuring out how we can safely de-escalate that situation without putting anyone else in danger is complicated.''
The debate, Mx. Whitesides said, was simply what happens when progressive priorities clash. ''Even among the progressives, everyone wants to be safe,'' they said. ''These debates in the community, while they can feel very tense '-- this is how we find a solution. It's going to come through neighbors talking to neighbors.''
Can you support social justice and the police?On a recent afternoon, nearly two months after the attack, the park was a 526-acre sanctuary from social media and liberal hand-wringing, its tree-lined paths and open fields indifferent to the disputations among its users. Schoolchildren, let out into the exquisite early fall afternoon, fanned excitedly over the gently sloping lawn, as a police cruiser idled nearby, its misery lights flashing. The park, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, who designed Central Park, both connects and separates the disparate neighborhoods around it.
Ms. Chrustic was willing to talk on a bench outside the park, but not to enter within. Like Mr. Nammack, she felt compelled to stress her progressive bona fides, including volunteer work she'd done for homeless organizations. She wore the M-O-O-S-E bracelet given to her through Nextdoor. ''And I don't even wear bracelets usually,'' she said.
She said she still had not moved Moose's bed or food bowls in her apartment.
''I'm very empathetic toward people who are unhoused and are having hard times and who have mental illness,'' she said. ''I think that there should be more resources for them. There should be more housing situations. But what I emphasize is that this is just one person who needs to be removed from the park. He's violent. End of story.''
For two months, she has grown increasingly impatient with the police, local officials and neighbors on Nextdoor who seemed more concerned about her attacker's welfare than her safety.
''Are they waiting for somebody to die?'' she said. ''Are they waiting for someone to get hurt more severely? I was lucky. My dog was not. What happens to the next person? What happens if it's a child? How many more people need to be harmed?''
Mr. Nammack, for his part, had come to see his failed effort to start a community watch group, and the disastrous meetup, as a successful exercise in democracy. He had solicited a range of viewpoints, and he got them. ''The Saturday meeting, looking back, it was great,'' he said. ''It brought up a lot of issues. It was quite diverse. It left more open questions than answers. They're all good questions, but I don't have the bandwidth to answer. So I feel like I opened a can of worms, and I'm walking away from it.''
For now, he was urging people to sign a petition on Change.org, demanding that Mayor Eric Adams ''take appropriate action to rectify this matter.'' More than 600 people have signed the petition.
But Mr. Nammack was not done. After a brief ban from Nextdoor, which was never explained, he returned to the fray. Once again he posted the police sketch of Ms. Chrustic's attacker, above the headline: STILL AT LARGE. PROSPECT PARK VAGRANT. VIOLENT AND SOCIOPATHIC.
Twenty-seven people clicked that they liked the post. Then Mr. Nammack's posts were removed again.
The post How a Dog's Killing Turned Brooklyn Progressives Against One Another appeared first on New York Times.
California Begins Fighting Inflation With Stimulus Checks This Week | ZeroHedge
Sun, 09 Oct 2022 13:18
Fighting fire with fire...
In true "government exercises every wrong solution before finally begrudgingly arriving at the correct one" fashion, this is the week that California residents can finally expect to get their "Middle Class Tax Refund" - the name the state has given to its stimulus checks it is distributing to residents in order to help fight inflation.
23 million taxpaying California residents are eligible to receive the payments, ABC reported this week. The payments are slated to start going out Thursday and Friday and are technically "tax refunds".
The checks, which can be as much as $1,050 and are the brain child of Governor Gavin Newsom - will be distributed in amounts determined by people's annual income, mixed with the amount of dependents they have. The California Globe broke down the details this week:
...those making up to $75,000 a year, or joint filers who make up to $150,000, will get $350 each. Those who make up to $125,000 a year, or joint filers making up to $250,000, will get $250 each. Those who make up to $250,000 a year, or $500,000 filing jointly, get $200 each. One dependent may also be added at each tier for the same amount as each filer, meaning Californians could see as much $1,050, $750, or $600 coming in per household depending on tier level.
The checks were debated over the course of the spring and summer and first started under the guise of gas relief checks. But California legislators weren't happy with that idea and instead pushed for the idea of a flat rebate program for all residents making under a certain income level.
Sounds a lot like universal basic income, doesn't it?
People who filed their taxes online will receive a relief check direct deposit, the report says, while those who filed a paper tax return in 2020 will get their funds on a debit card. 90% of direct deposits are expected to hit accounts in October, the report says. Debit cards will be mailed between now and mid-December, the same report says. Some will receive their cards by mid-January 2023.
Some have speculated that the timing of the stimulus conveniently lines up with mid-term elections, approaching next month. Former lobbyist Harry Schultz commented: ''It's not nearly as drastic this year since he has such a commanding lead, but this does help Newsom right before the election. Free money going out before an election, right during the beginning of a recession with consumer prices still being high? Yeah, that buys goodwill.''
He continued: ''Honestly, it's a good bet hedger. Just in case something catastrophic comes out that hurts Newsom, he still has some cards to play, and this is one of them. It has been odd timing both times to say the least, and if I were [Newsom Gubernatorial opponent Senator Brian] Dahle, I'd bring this up during the debate, even just a passing mention of it being 'coincidental.'''
Meanwhile, as Insider notes, 73% of respondents said government spending was a "major cause" of higher prices when polled by a right-leaning advocacy group earlier this year.
DOJ Manipulated Evidence In Keith Raniere Case, Claim Ex-FBI Experts, Alan Dershowitz | The Daily Wire
Sun, 09 Oct 2022 13:16
The Department of Justice manipulated evidence in the sex trafficking trial of convicted cult leader Keith Raniere, a group of ex-FBI experts backed by famed attorney Alan Dershowitz claimed Thursday.
Raniere was convicted in 2019, but now the group of six former FBI forensic experts claims the government framed him on the charge of possession of child pornography. They held a virtual press conference on Thursday, joined by Dershowitz, who is representing Raniere, former U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins, and several others.
''If true, this is a historic level of corruption,'' Dershowitz said. ''There must be immediate action.''
The forensic experts said they examined the government's evidence and concluded that the ''digital evidence devices'' used to convict Raniere were ''significantly manipulated.''
The child porn charge related to nude images of a 15-year-old on Raniere's camera and computer. Prosecutors used timestamps on the photos to prove she was underage, but the cyber experts concluded ''with scientific certainty'' that the files on the camera's memory card and the external hard drive were backdated to alter the timeline relative to her age.
They also claimed some damning photos were planted on a hard drive to make them look like backups.
''It is clear that the photos in this case were planted there,'' former FBI Senior Forensic Examiner Stacy Eldridge said.
On top of this, several FBI employees are documented to have committed ''atrocious'' violations of FBI forensic protocols, they said.
''The alteration of evidence and serious breaches of evidence-handling protocols are indisputable, and they all aligned with the government's narrative at trial,'' the experts said.
Former FBI Forensic Examiner William Odom said that in his 25 years of digital forensic investigations including five years with the FBI, ''the amount of premeditation to perform this fraud '-- I've never seen anything like that.''
''None of us have ever in our careers claimed to have witnessed government tampering, much less the scale of tampering we have seen in this case,'' the six experts said in their joint statement.
Dershowitz called for an evidentiary hearing and said that appropriate relief might include a new trial or even dismissal of the indictment due to ''outrageous government conduct.''
Raniere founded and led NXIVM, a multi-level marketing company in Albany, New York. In June, 2019, he was convicted by a federal jury of charges including racketeering, sex trafficking, and possession of child pornography.
Over two decades starting in the late '90s, NXIVM attracted thousands of followers including celebrities and social elites through its personal development seminars. Raniere was arrested in 2018 after accusations of systemic sexual abuse of the cult's female members. He is currently imprisoned at U.S. Penitentiary Tucson in Arizona.
Cummins, who from 2001 to 2006 was the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, called for an investigation and said the credibility of the DOJ and FBI is at a low point.
''In recent years a variety of unrelated revelations have left the DOJ and FBI's reputation in tatters. Their credibility is in question. It would be a historic finding if it were determined that someone tampered with the evidence in this case,'' Cummins said.
The FBI responded to a request for comment by stating that, ''we have no comment on this matter.''
Currently, the case is a p ost-conviction case that would have to return to trial court in order for the evidence concerns to be evaluated, according to Raniere's lawyer Joseph Tully.
RIAA Reports Highest-Ever $15 Billion in Recorded Music Revenue | Pitchfork
Sun, 09 Oct 2022 12:47
The Recording Industry Association of America released its 2021 year-end revenue statistics, reporting that overall revenue for recorded music had reached a record $15 billion, bolstered by the continued growth of streaming and vinyl sales. This year's streaming revenues'--paid subscriptions, ad-supported streaming services, digital and customized radio, Facebook and digital fitness app licensing, and, for the first time, TikTok'--grew 24% in 2021 to a total of $12.4 billion, accounting for 83% of total revenues, similar to 2020. Check out the full report below.
Vinyl continues to make gains for the 15th consecutive year; even as overall physical sales stagnated in 2020, with many retail outlets closed to the public during nationwide lockdowns, revenue rose almost 30% that year, and 61%'--to $1.0 billion'--in 2021, accounting for 63% of revenues from physical formats. The last time vinyl records exceeded $1 billion in sales was 1986.
Other big gains were made in ad-supported on demand streaming revenues (like Spotify's free tier, YouTube, and Pandora), up nearly 47% to 1.76 billion from 1.2 billion in 2020. And from 2019 to 2021, the average number of paid subscriptions grew 39%, while paid subscription revenues grew 40% over the same two-year period.
As streaming and vinyl grow year after year, download revenues continue to slide, down 11.7% to $586 million from $664 million in 2020. And while CD sales jumped 21% after dropping in 2020'--the first time since the '80s that vinyl outsold CDs'--they still haven't returned to pre-pandemic levels. Additionally, while overall revenue has never been higher, the RIAA says the industry is still 40% smaller than it was at its peak in 1999 when adjusted for inflation.
PayPal Reverses Course, Says Company Will Not Seize Money From People for Promoting 'Misinformation'
Sun, 09 Oct 2022 00:58
PayPal on Oct. 8 said it was not implementing a new policy that would have enabled the company to seize money from users who allegedly promote ''misinformation'' or ''hate.''
''An AUP notice recently went out in error that included incorrect information. PayPal is not fining people for misinformation and this language was never intended to be inserted in our policy,'' a PayPal spokesperson told The Epoch Times in an email.
''Our teams are working to correct our policy pages. We're sorry for the confusion this has caused,'' the spokesperson added.
The company in September announced that it was amending its acceptable use policy, or AUP.
The policy, due to take effect in November, said that users may not use PayPal to for the ''sending, posting, or publication of any messages, content, or materials that, in PayPal's sole discretion, (a) are harmful, obscene, harassing, or objectionable, (b) depict or appear to depict nudity, sexual or other intimate activities,'¯(c) depict or promote illegal drug use, (d)'¯depict or promote'¯violence, criminal activity, cruelty,'¯or self-harm'¯(e) depict,'¯promote, or incite hatred or discrimination of protected groups or of individuals or groups based on protected characteristics (e.g. race, religion, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, etc.) (f)'¯present a risk to user safety or wellbeing, (g) are fraudulent, promote misinformation, or are unlawful, (h) infringe the privacy, intellectual property rights, or other proprietary rights of any party, or (i)'¯are otherwise unfit for publication.''
For each violation, PayPal says users are subject to repercussions. Those include ''liquated damages'' of $2,500 per violation. The money will be taken directly from a person's PayPal account.
Users were directed to PayPal's user agreement, which states in part that PayPal can take a number of actions if users participate in restricted activities, such as holding their money in balance indefinitely. It also says that ''you will be liable to PayPal for the amount of PayPal's damages caused by your violation of the Acceptable Use Policy'' at the amount of $2,500 per violation.
That money will cover internal administrative costs for PayPal to monitor and track violations and damage to PayPal's brand, among other costs, according to the agreement.
Scores of people noticed the pending update in recent days and many announced on social media they would be closing their accounts.
''Seriously, close your PayPal account immediately if they don't reverse this today,'' Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, said.
''It's hard for me to openly criticize a company I used to love and gave so much to. But @PayPal 's new AUP goes against everything I believe in. A private company now gets to decide to take your money if you say something they disagree with. Insanity,'' added David Marcus, a former president of PayPal.
Still, others had suggested the policy was not a problem.
''PayPal has a tiny clause forbidding spreading fraudulent information or misinformation on the platform. Ya know'--so people can't sell you a magic bean that cures cancer or anything,'' Keith Farrell, an author, wrote. ''And conservatives are out here telling on themselves, acting like this about them!''
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news for The Epoch Times. He is based in Maryland.
The super-rich 'preppers' planning to save themselves from the apocalypse | The super-rich | The Guardian
Sat, 08 Oct 2022 12:44
A s a humanist who writes about the impact of digital technology on our lives, I am often mistaken for a futurist. The people most interested in hiring me for my opinions about technology are usually less concerned with building tools that help people live better lives in the present than they are in identifying the Next Big Thing through which to dominate them in the future. I don't usually respond to their inquiries. Why help these guys ruin what's left of the internet, much less civilisation?
Still, sometimes a combination of morbid curiosity and cold hard cash is enough to get me on a stage in front of the tech elite, where I try to talk some sense into them about how their businesses are affecting our lives out here in the real world. That's how I found myself accepting an invitation to address a group mysteriously described as ''ultra-wealthy stakeholders'', out in the middle of the desert.
A limo was waiting for me at the airport. As the sun began to dip over the horizon, I realised I had been in the car for three hours. What sort of wealthy hedge-fund types would drive this far from the airport for a conference? Then I saw it. On a parallel path next to the highway, as if racing against us, a small jet was coming in for a landing on a private airfield. Of course.
The next morning, two men in matching Patagonia fleeces came for me in a golf cart and conveyed me through rocks and underbrush to a meeting hall. They left me to drink coffee and prepare in what I figured was serving as my green room. But instead of me being wired with a microphone or taken to a stage, my audience was brought in to me. They sat around the table and introduced themselves: five super-wealthy guys '' yes, all men '' from the upper echelon of the tech investing and hedge-fund world. At least two of them were billionaires. After a bit of small talk, I realised they had no interest in the speech I had prepared about the future of technology. They had come to ask questions.
A shelter under construction at the Rising S Company in Murchison, Texas. Photograph: Bloomberg/Getty ImagesThey started out innocuously and predictably enough. Bitcoin or ethereum? Virtual reality or augmented reality? Who will get quantum computing first, China or Google? Eventually, they edged into their real topic of concern: New Zealand or Alaska? Which region would be less affected by the coming climate crisis? It only got worse from there. Which was the greater threat: global warming or biological warfare? How long should one plan to be able to survive with no outside help? Should a shelter have its own air supply? What was the likelihood of groundwater contamination? Finally, the CEO of a brokerage house explained that he had nearly completed building his own underground bunker system, and asked: ''How do I maintain authority over my security force after the event?'' The event. That was their euphemism for the environmental collapse, social unrest, nuclear explosion, solar storm, unstoppable virus, or malicious computer hack that takes everything down.
This single question occupied us for the rest of the hour. They knew armed guards would be required to protect their compounds from raiders as well as angry mobs. One had already secured a dozen Navy Seals to make their way to his compound if he gave them the right cue. But how would he pay the guards once even his crypto was worthless? What would stop the guards from eventually choosing their own leader?
The billionaires considered using special combination locks on the food supply that only they knew. Or making guards wear disciplinary collars of some kind in return for their survival. Or maybe building robots to serve as guards and workers '' if that technology could be developed ''in time''.
It's as if they want to build a car that goes fast enough to escape from its own exhaustI tried to reason with them. I made pro-social arguments for partnership and solidarity as the best approaches to our collective, long-term challenges. The way to get your guards to exhibit loyalty in the future was to treat them like friends right now, I explained. Don't just invest in ammo and electric fences, invest in people and relationships. They rolled their eyes at what must have sounded to them like hippy philosophy.
This was probably the wealthiest, most powerful group I had ever encountered. Yet here they were, asking a Marxist media theorist for advice on where and how to configure their doomsday bunkers. That's when it hit me: at least as far as these gentlemen were concerned, this was a talk about the future of technology.
Taking their cue from Tesla founder Elon Musk colonising Mars, Palantir's Peter Thiel reversing the ageing process, or artificial intelligence developers Sam Altman and Ray Kurzweil uploading their minds into supercomputers, they were preparing for a digital future that had less to do with making the world a better place than it did with transcending the human condition altogether. Their extreme wealth and privilege served only to make them obsessed with insulating themselves from the very real and present danger of climate change, rising sea levels, mass migrations, global pandemics, nativist panic and resource depletion. For them, the future of technology is about only one thing: escape from the rest of us.
These people once showered the world with madly optimistic business plans for how technology might benefit human society. Now they've reduced technological progress to a video game that one of them wins by finding the escape hatch. Will it be Jeff Bezos migrating to space, Thiel to his New Zealand compound, or Mark Zuckerberg to his virtual metaverse? And these catastrophising billionaires are the presumptive winners of the digital economy '' the supposed champions of the survival-of-the-fittest business landscape that's fuelling most of this speculation to begin with.
A proposal for a Mars colony by Elon Musk's company, SpaceX. Photograph: SpaceXWhat I came to realise was that these men are actually the losers. The billionaires who called me out to the desert to evaluate their bunker strategies are not the victors of the economic game so much as the victims of its perversely limited rules. More than anything, they have succumbed to a mindset where ''winning'' means earning enough money to insulate themselves from the damage they are creating by earning money in that way. It's as if they want to build a car that goes fast enough to escape from its own exhaust.
Yet this Silicon Valley escapism '' let's call it The Mindset '' encourages its adherents to believe that the winners can somehow leave the rest of us behind.
Never before have our society's most powerful players assumed that the primary impact of their own conquests would be to render the world itself unliveable for everyone else. Nor have they ever before had the technologies through which to programme their sensibilities into the very fabric of our society. The landscape is alive with algorithms and intelligences actively encouraging these selfish and isolationist outlooks. Those sociopathic enough to embrace them are rewarded with cash and control over the rest of us. It's a self-reinforcing feedback loop. This is new.
Amplified by digital technologies and the unprecedented wealth disparity they afford, The Mindset allows for the easy externalisation of harm to others, and inspires a corresponding longing for transcendence and separation from the people and places that have been abused.
Instead of just lording over us for ever, however, the billionaires at the top of these virtual pyramids actively seek the endgame. In fact, like the plot of a Marvel blockbuster, the very structure of The Mindset requires an endgame. Everything must resolve to a one or a zero, a winner or loser, the saved or the damned. Actual, imminent catastrophes from the climate emergency to mass migrations support the mythology, offering these would-be superheroes the opportunity to play out the finale in their own lifetimes. For The Mindset also includes a faith-based Silicon Valley certainty that they can develop a technology that will somehow break the laws of physics, economics and morality to offer them something even better than a way of saving the world: a means of escape from the apocalypse of their own making.
B y the time I boarded my return flight to New York, my mind was reeling with the implications of The Mindset. What were its main tenets? Who were its true believers? What, if anything, could we do to resist it? Before I had even landed, I posted an article about my strange encounter '' to surprising effect.
Almost immediately, I began receiving inquiries from businesses catering to the billionaire prepper, all hoping I would make some introductions on their behalf to the five men I had written about. I heard from a real estate agent who specialises in disaster-proof listings, a company taking reservations for its third underground dwellings project, and a security firm offering various forms of ''risk management''.
But the message that got my attention came from a former president of the American chamber of commerce in Latvia. JC Cole had witnessed the fall of the Soviet empire, as well as what it took to rebuild a working society almost from scratch. He had also served as landlord for the American and European Union embassies, and learned a whole lot about security systems and evacuation plans. ''You certainly stirred up a bees' nest,'' he began his first email to me. ''It's quite accurate '' the wealthy hiding in their bunkers will have a problem with their security teams'... I believe you are correct with your advice to 'treat those people really well, right now', but also the concept may be expanded and I believe there is a better system that would give much better results.''
He felt certain that the ''event'' '' a grey swan, or predictable catastrophe triggered by our enemies, Mother Nature, or just by accident ''was inevitable. He had done a Swot analysis '' strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats '' and concluded that preparing for calamity required us to take the very same measures as trying to prevent one. ''By coincidence,'' he explained, ''I am setting up a series of safe haven farms in the NYC area. These are designed to best handle an 'event' and also benefit society as semi-organic farms. Both within three hours' drive from the city '' close enough to get there when it happens.''
Amazon boss Jeff Bezos has been among the tech barons leading the privatised race into space. Photograph: Joe Skipper/ReutersHere was a prepper with security clearance, field experience and food sustainability expertise. He believed the best way to cope with the impending disaster was to change the way we treat one another, the economy, and the planet right now '' while also developing a network of secret, totally self-sufficient residential farm communities for millionaires, guarded by Navy Seals armed to the teeth.
JC is currently developing two farms as part of his safe haven project. Farm one, outside Princeton, is his show model and ''works well as long as the thin blue line is working''. The second one, somewhere in the Poconos, has to remain a secret. ''The fewer people who know the locations, the better,'' he explained, along with a link to the Twilight Zone episode in which panicked neighbours break into a family's bomb shelter during a nuclear scare. ''The primary value of safe haven is operational security, nicknamed OpSec by the military. If/when the supply chain breaks, the people will have no food delivered. Covid-19 gave us the wake-up call as people started fighting over toilet paper. When it comes to a shortage of food it will be vicious. That is why those intelligent enough to invest have to be stealthy.''
JC invited me down to New Jersey to see the real thing. ''Wear boots,'' he said. ''The ground is still wet.'' Then he asked: ''Do you shoot?''
T he farm itself was serving as an equestrian centre and tactical training facility in addition to raising goats and chickens. JC showed me how to hold and shoot a Glock at a series of outdoor targets shaped like bad guys, while he grumbled about the way Senator Dianne Feinstein had limited the number of rounds one could legally fit in a magazine for the handgun. JC knew his stuff. I asked him about various combat scenarios. ''The only way to protect your family is with a group,'' he said. That was really the whole point of his project '' to gather a team capable of sheltering in place for a year or more, while also defending itself from those who hadn't prepared. JC was also hoping to train young farmers in sustainable agriculture, and to secure at least one doctor and dentist for each location.
On the way back to the main building, JC showed me the ''layered security'' protocols he had learned designing embassy properties: a fence, ''no trespassing'' signs, guard dogs, surveillance cameras '... all meant to discourage violent confrontation. He paused for a minute as he stared down the drive. ''Honestly, I am less concerned about gangs with guns than the woman at the end of the driveway holding a baby and asking for food.'' He paused, and sighed, ''I don't want to be in that moral dilemma.''
That's why JC's real passion wasn't just to build a few isolated, militarised retreat facilities for millionaires, but to prototype locally owned sustainable farms that can be modelled by others and ultimately help restore regional food security in America. The ''just-in-time'' delivery system preferred by agricultural conglomerates renders most of the nation vulnerable to a crisis as minor as a power outage or transportation shutdown. Meanwhile, the centralisation of the agricultural industry has left most farms utterly dependent on the same long supply chains as urban consumers. ''Most egg farmers can't even raise chickens,'' JC explained as he showed me his henhouses. ''They buy chicks. I've got roosters.''
JC is no hippy environmentalist but his business model is based in the same communitarian spirit I tried to convey to the billionaires: the way to keep the hungry hordes from storming the gates is by getting them food security now. So for $3m, investors not only get a maximum security compound in which to ride out the coming plague, solar storm, or electric grid collapse. They also get a stake in a potentially profitable network of local farm franchises that could reduce the probability of a catastrophic event in the first place. His business would do its best to ensure there are as few hungry children at the gate as possible when the time comes to lock down.
So far, JC Cole has been unable to convince anyone to invest in American Heritage Farms. That doesn't mean no one is investing in such schemes. It's just that the ones that attract more attention and cash don't generally have these cooperative components. They're more for people who want to go it alone. Most billionaire preppers don't want to have to learn to get along with a community of farmers or, worse, spend their winnings funding a national food resilience programme. The mindset that requires safe havens is less concerned with preventing moral dilemmas than simply keeping them out of sight.
Vivos hopes to fit its bunkers with features such as swimming pools and gyms. Photograph: TerravivosMany of those seriously seeking a safe haven simply hire one of several prepper construction companies to bury a prefab steel-lined bunker somewhere on one of their existing properties. Rising S Company in Texas builds and installs bunkers and tornado shelters for as little as $40,000 for an 8ft by 12ft emergency hideout all the way up to the $8.3m luxury series ''Aristocrat'', complete with pool and bowling lane. The enterprise originally catered to families seeking temporary storm shelters, before it went into the long-term apocalypse business. The company logo, complete with three crucifixes, suggests their services are geared more toward Christian evangelist preppers in red-state America than billionaire tech bros playing out sci-fi scenarios.
There's something much more whimsical about the facilities in which most of the billionaires '' or, more accurately, aspiring billionaires '' actually invest. A company called Vivos is selling luxury underground apartments in converted cold war munitions storage facilities, missile silos, and other fortified locations around the world. Like miniature Club Med resorts, they offer private suites for individuals or families, and larger common areas with pools, games, movies and dining. Ultra-elite shelters such as the Oppidum in the Czech Republic claim to cater to the billionaire class, and pay more attention to the long-term psychological health of residents. They provide imitation of natural light, such as a pool with a simulated sunlit garden area, a wine vault, and other amenities to make the wealthy feel at home.
On closer analysis, however, the probability of a fortified bunker actually protecting its occupants from the reality of, well, reality, is very slim. For one, the closed ecosystems of underground facilities are preposterously brittle. For example, an indoor, sealed hydroponic garden is vulnerable to contamination. Vertical farms with moisture sensors and computer-controlled irrigation systems look great in business plans and on the rooftops of Bay Area startups; when a palette of topsoil or a row of crops goes wrong, it can simply be pulled and replaced. The hermetically sealed apocalypse ''grow room'' doesn't allow for such do-overs.
Just the known unknowns are enough to dash any reasonable hope of survival. But this doesn't seem to stop wealthy preppers from trying. The New York Times reported that real estate agents specialising in private islands were overwhelmed with inquiries during the Covid-19 pandemic. Prospective clients were even asking about whether there was enough land to do some agriculture in addition to installing a helicopter landing pad. But while a private island may be a good place to wait out a temporary plague, turning it into a self-sufficient, defensible ocean fortress is harder than it sounds. Small islands are utterly dependent on air and sea deliveries for basic staples. Solar panels and water filtration equipment need to be replaced and serviced at regular intervals. The billionaires who reside in such locales are more, not less, dependent on complex supply chains than those of us embedded in industrial civilisation.
Surely the billionaires who brought me out for advice on their exit strategies were aware of these limitations. Could it have all been some sort of game? Five men sitting around a poker table, each wagering his escape plan was best?
But if they were in it just for fun, they wouldn't have called for me. They would have flown out the author of a zombie apocalypse comic book. If they wanted to test their bunker plans, they'd have hired a security expert from Blackwater or the Pentagon. They seemed to want something more. Their language went far beyond questions of disaster preparedness and verged on politics and philosophy: words such as individuality, sovereignty, governance and autonomy.
That's because it wasn't their actual bunker strategies I had been brought out to evaluate so much as the philosophy and mathematics they were using to justify their commitment to escape. They were working out what I've come to call the insulation equation: could they earn enough money to insulate themselves from the reality they were creating by earning money in this way? Was there any valid justification for striving to be so successful that they could simply leave the rest of us behind ''apocalypse or not?
Or was this really their intention all along? Maybe the apocalypse is less something they're trying to escape than an excuse to realise The Mindset's true goal: to rise above mere mortals and execute the ultimate exit strategy.
This is an edited extract from Survival of the Richest by Douglas Rushkoff, published by Scribe (£20). To support the Guardian and Observer order your copy at guardianbookshop.com. Delivery charges may apply
EU makes no mention of gas price cap in latest Russian sanctions package
Fri, 07 Oct 2022 17:44
Summary There is a lack of unity over the measure.
by: NGWThe EU has agreed an eighth package of sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, the European Commission and the European Council a...
Posted in: Natural Gas & LNG News, Europe, Top Stories, Political, News By Country, EU
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VIDEO - (20) American Moment on Twitter: "''Fortune 500 companies have hired millions of risk managers...Most call [them] DEI employees, but make no mistake, they're an insurance policy merited by the systematic failure of the right.'' Watch @ssharmaU
Sun, 09 Oct 2022 16:37
American Moment : ''Fortune 500 companies have hired millions of risk managers...Most call [them] DEI employees, but make no mistake,'... https://t.co/UMN1pw5Kai
Thu Oct 06 17:53:54 +0000 2022
Justa spoonful of safety helps the tyranny go down : @AmMomentOrg @willchamberlain @ssharmaUS No, these DEI hires are not risk managers. The most that can be said is th'... https://t.co/gwwZHGcPvL
Fri Oct 07 09:36:53 +0000 2022
Sask Conservative #FreeTheWest : @AmMomentOrg @ssharmaUS The "right" wants antitrust and antimonopoly law back. Fortune 500 companies should all be'... https://t.co/lYl03PUHue
Thu Oct 06 23:32:19 +0000 2022
Disillusioned : @AmMomentOrg @ssharmaUS The term "risk management" is absolutely oxymoronic and moronic at the same time.They incre'... https://t.co/ILRc581nyg
Thu Oct 06 22:45:14 +0000 2022
StopWokeCulture : @AmMomentOrg @JackPosobiec @ssharmaUS Nope. There's HUGE risk to DEI. State, Federal equality laws don't addres'... https://t.co/zrUeCI4d5q
Thu Oct 06 22:26:16 +0000 2022
An Actual Bird : @AmMomentOrg @ssharmaUS Literally the opposite of the truth.
Thu Oct 06 22:24:46 +0000 2022
ÐÑÐ¾ÐÐ°Ð"Ð°Ð½Ð´Ð° Sniper : @AmMomentOrg @JackPosobiec @ssharmaUS Systemic failure of the far-left.
Thu Oct 06 22:19:05 +0000 2022
The Right One ðºð¸ : @AmMomentOrg @JackPosobiec @ssharmaUS Ouch. He's correct.
Thu Oct 06 22:10:37 +0000 2022
VIDEO - (20) NEWSî¨NANCY on Twitter: "I have noticed this in my sister who has had a least FOUR injections. BUT They're All c.onspiracy t.heories.ð https://t.co/9JQdiRxij0" / Twitter
Sun, 09 Oct 2022 16:34
NEWSî¨NANCY : I have noticed this in my sister who has had a least FOUR injections.BUTThey're All c.onspiracy t.heories.ð https://t.co/9JQdiRxij0
Thu Oct 06 20:05:02 +0000 2022
VIDEO - (21) Catherine Herridge on Twitter: "The FBI has gathered - what it believes - is evidence to charge Pres. Biden's son Hunter w/crimes related to his taxes and a gun purchase. FBI has sent the information to U.S. Attorney in Delaware, while Hunt
Sun, 09 Oct 2022 16:31
Catherine Herridge : The FBI has gathered - what it believes - is evidence to charge Pres. Biden's son Hunter w/crimes related to his ta'... https://t.co/raYD48n9mG
Thu Oct 06 22:56:38 +0000 2022
Boomer : @CBS_Herridge Pro lifers conduct a genuinely non violent protest and get arrested in dawn raids by the FBI. But abo'... https://t.co/xAF5dhyXEz
Sun Oct 09 11:41:39 +0000 2022
ShirinIrani : @CBS_Herridge That's all? What about all the monies he received from China, Ukraine, Kazakistan, etc.?
Sun Oct 09 02:51:43 +0000 2022
VIDEO - NBC declares Hunter Biden's shady business deals with foreign governments to be 'perfectly legal' | The Post Millennial | thepostmillennial.com
Sun, 09 Oct 2022 16:24
NBC justice and intelligence correspondent Ken Dilanian joined MSNBC Friday morning to speak on the speculations that Hunter Biden may be criminally charged on tax and gun offenses. When referencing potential corruption charges in relation to the younger Biden's questionable dealings in China and Ukraine, Dilanian contested that because he wasn't an elected official, "it was perfectly legal for him to take money from foreign governments, as long as he wasn't inappropriately giving them information from his family."
According to a Thursday
report from the Washington Post, the FBI has gathered what they believe is "sufficient evidence to charge him with tax crimes and a false statement related to a gun purchase." Sources said that the next step is for the US Attorney in Delaware, David Weiss, an appointee of former President Donald Trump, to decide on whether to
file charges against the current president's son.
On MSNBC's "Morning Joe," host Joe Scarborough asked Dilanian what he had been hearing on the federal government's case on Biden, 52.
"The feds are pretty confident they have an open and shut case against him. Is that what you're hearing?" Scarborough questioned.
"That's the reporting. Actually we at NBC News, we tried very hard to talk to people familiar with the case, we would neither confirm nor deny this Post report," Dilanian began. "But, as you know, Joe, I mean, tax cases are not all that difficult. He paid a $2 million tax bill last year, so he was in arrears on his taxes."
According to a May
New York Times report, Biden had help from wealthy Hollywood attorney Kevin Morris to pay off his millions in overdue tax dollars.
Morris reportedly loaned the recovering addict over $2 million to support his family and pay back delinquent taxes amid a federal investigation into his tax affairs, the Times reported, citing four anonymous sources familiar with the matter.
"The question with those cases is always when does it become criminal tax evasion, and there's a lot of prosecutorial discretion about that. There's a lot of people who evade taxes who are never prosecuted criminally. So that's going to be a big issue in this case," Dilanian continued.
"In terms of like, corruption, conflict of interest; we've never heard a hint that there were potential criminal charges there. Because Hunter Biden wasn't an officeholder, it's perfectly legal for him to take money from foreign governments as long as he wasn't inappropriately giving them information from his family or something. There's no hint of that, as bad as it looks."
Despite him not holding a government office, Biden's dealings during his father's tenure as vice president and the subsequent
cover-up of the discovery of his laptop are still being called into question, especially how it relates to the results of the 2020 presidential election.
According to a former business partner of the president's son, the FBI "altered history" by
suppressing the laptop story, depriving Trump of votes that he may have otherwise received.
In an interview with Fox News' Tucker Carlson, former Hunter Biden associate Tony Bobulinski said "The difference between President Trump and Joe Biden was 43,000 votes. If half of those people, 21,500 had voted for President Trump instead of Biden, President Trump would still be in the White House."
"So that election was decided by 21,500 votes '' in the backdrop of a story that is the most suppressed story in the history of the US presidential elections," he argued, before adding "I'm coming out now because the American people still are being lied to about the facts. Nothing's been done."
Bobulinksi claims that he was defrauded by the Biden family, alleging that Hunter Biden stole money from Oneida, the firm he launched and owned with the president's son and brother, Jim Biden, and others. Oneida formed a joint venture with CEFC, a Chinese firm.
According to Bobulinski, Hunter Biden copied the contract and stole money, diverting $5 million into his own pocket.
"It appears that Hunter Biden, Jim Biden, and the Biden family really copied the same document down to typos [and] the serial number and they removed [the name] Oneida Holdings [and] replaced it with Owasco, which was [the name of] Hunter Biden's law firm or business that he operated," Bobulinski told Carlson.
"So, he effectively swapped out an entity that he owned 20% of to a business that he owned 100% of, which is fraud '..." he said.
"Hunter Biden and Jim Biden defrauded [us] and took the money for themselves '... stole it from me and my other partners, Rob Walker and James Gilliar."
As for his dealings with Ukraine, Dilanian acknowledged that while it looks "terrible" that he made money from a country that his father had incredible influence over, criminal charges for Hunter Biden are still not certain.
"We should all acknowledge it looked terrible," the NBC correspondent said to Scarborough.
"He did this while his father was vice president and in charge of Ukraine issues, and he was taking $50,000 a month from that energy company, but no hint that he was ever going to be charged on that account," he continued.
"But again, yes, the tax charges. It's a fairly simple proposition. But now, it all comes down to what is this US Attorney in Delaware, who is appointed by Donald Trump, what is he going to decide on this case?"
VIDEO - Florida Surgeon General: Covid mRNA vaccine found to cause 84% increase in DEATH for men ages 18-39 | The Post Millennial | thepostmillennial.com
Sun, 09 Oct 2022 16:20
Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo on Friday release the state's analysis of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines, revealing an 84 percent "increased risk of cardiac-related death among men 18-39." Florida "will not be silent on the truth," he said.The guidance "recommends against the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines for males ages 18-39 years old." In a statement, Ladapo said that "Studying the safety and efficacy of any medications, including vaccines, is an important component of public health. Far less attention has been paid to safety and the concerns of many individuals have been dismissed '' these are important findings that should be communicated to Floridians."
The Florida Department of Health released the findings of a self-controlled case series which they used to evaluate the safety of the Covid vaccines, which "studied mortality risk following mRNA COVID-19 vaccination."
It found that "there is an 84% increase in the relative incidence of cardiac-related death among males 18-39 years old within 28 days following mRNA vaccination."
The findings also showed that "Males over the age of 60 had a 10% increased risk of cardiac-related death within 28 days of mRNA vaccination," and that "Non-mRNA vaccines were not found to have these increased risks among any population.
The guidance suggests that Floridians talk to their doctors and health care providers about the relative benefits and risks of vaaccination for Covid with use of mRNA vaccines, and that it should be weighed against the potential risks of Covid.
This analysis comes after the Florida Department of Health issued guidance in March that recommended against use of the Covid mRNA vaccines for "healthy children and adolescents 5 years old to 17 years old."
The state also recommends "against COVID-19 vaccination among infants and children under 5 years old, which has since been issued under Emergency Use Authorization." When this guidance for children was issued, the Biden administration accused Ladapo of being a "
Florida is not alone in their guidance. Sweden
recommends against Covid mRNA vaccines for children ages 5-11. The Danish Health Authority
recommends against Covid mRNA vaccines for children under 18. The UK has
rolled back their offering of Covid jabs to children ages 5-11, per guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.
The Biden administration continues to encourage vaccines for kids and adults, and recently made a large buy of booster shots, some 171 million bivalent booster doses the day after FDA approval.
Alex Gutentag at Tablet Magazine
reports that "in May 2022, the FDA authorized monovalent Pfizer boosters for children ages 5-11 based on laboratory data that showed heightened antibody response levels in just 67 children."
VIDEO - Bill Gates Admits He Was ''Personally Involved'' in the Inflation Reduction Act Climate Change Funding
Sun, 09 Oct 2022 16:08
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VIDEO - (73) Is This Normal? Puberty in Intersex and Non-Binary People, Explained | Planned Parenthood Video - YouTube
Sun, 09 Oct 2022 16:02
VIDEO - Iran to see Islamic Republic regime collapse as protests surge | World | News | Express.co.uk
Sun, 09 Oct 2022 15:48
Islamic republic facing 'beginning of the end' says Alvandi Invalid email
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Iran's regime has ramped up efforts to squash widespread protests which erupted more than two weeks ago over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in the custody of morality police. Iranian expert Dr Roham Alvandi has told BBC World that he believes the demonstrations present the biggest challenge to Iran's clerical leaders in years and signals the beginning of the end for the Islamic Republic founded in 1979.
Dr Alvandi told BBC News: "What is really remarkable is that unlike the previous protests, where people would flee the security forces, what we're seeing in these protests is that unarmed young people are actually standing their ground.
"I think the images of that kind of bravery is a real problem for the regime because all it does is it encourages more and more and more opposition and more and more people to come out.
"So I think in my view, this is the beginning of the end. This is the beginning of the end for the Islamic Republic."
He added: "I don't think it's going to happen overnight, so we shouldn't expect that this regime is just going to crumble in a matter of weeks.
JUST IN: Russian pundit in tears as he rages at civilians dodging mobilisation
Islamic republic facing 'beginning of the end' says Alvandi (Image: BBC'GETTY)
Iranian protesters are calling for the downfall of the Islamic Republic founded in 1979 (Image: Getty)
Russian soldiers 'rebelling against leadership' in Putin mobilisation backlash - videoRussian soldiers have appeared in a video complaining about the chaos and mismanagement of the Kremlin's partial mobilisation. Hundreds of conscripts appear in the video, believed to have been taken in the Belgorod region, as a military rebellion takes hold in protest at the bundled management of Vladimir Putin's top brass.
Watch it HERE.
"The last Iranian Revolution took about a year, there will be ups and downs, there will be periods of calm punctuated with mass protests.
"But I think what's absolutely clear to everyone is that this regime has lost all legitimacy."
Asked if the regime could survive through mass oppression, Dr Alvandi responded: "I think they could slow it down, I think they can buy themselves some time.
"But the more that they kill unarmed Iranians on the streets of Iran, the more I think they actually dig a hole for themselves."
Iran: Director of education confronted by school girlsHe added: "The only way out really of this crisis in the long term is to listen to what these people are saying is to listen to their demands."
Rights groups say thousands have been arrested and hundreds injured in the crackdown waged by security forces including the Basij, a volunteer militia affiliated with Iran's Revolutionary Guards. Rights groups put the death toll at over 150.
Authorities have reported numerous deaths among the security forces, accusing foreign adversaries including the United States of meddling to destabilise Iran.
Videos shared on social media on Wednesday showed high school girls in Tehran taking off their headscarves and chanting "death to [Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali] Khamenei".
In footage said to have been filmed at a school in Shiraz on Tuesday, about 50 female pupils surrounded a member of the Basij who had been invited to give a speech, shouting "Basij get lost" and "death to Khamenei".
DON'T MISS:British rocket launchers help turn tide in Ukraine [ANALYSIS]'Hypocrite' Putin bashed for claim he holds Ukraine in 'huge respect' [REACTION]Russia mocked for 'poor discipline' as Ukraine captures 1,000 vehicles [INSIGHT]
Iran: Military Power (Image: Express)
Analysts do not believe the clerical establishment is close to being toppled despite growing frustration over strict social and political limitations imposed over the past four decades since the fall of the US-backed Shah.
The government has ordered an investigation into Amini's death, which Khamenei has said left him "heartbroken".
But underlining unbending views in government, Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi accused demonstrators of creating "hideous scenes" in the name of women's rights.
Vahidi, the former commander of the Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force, defended the dress code law, saying protesters saw "freedom in the nakedness and shamelessness of women".
VIDEO - (21) Brian Entin on Twitter: "If you have an electric car that was submerged during the Hurricane Ian storm surge '' get it out of your garage, the state fire marshal says. The batteries are catching fire because of salt water damage. https://t.c
Sun, 09 Oct 2022 15:39
Brian Entin : If you have an electric car that was submerged during the Hurricane Ian storm surge '' get it out of your garage, th'... https://t.co/kAmYzQA2io
Fri Oct 07 21:44:44 +0000 2022
TheQuestioningMind : @BrianEntin Home owner's insurance on coastal properties is as car insurance is to Tesla cars. The bifurcation is coming.
Sun Oct 09 12:58:28 +0000 2022
White Rabbit ð¥ : @BrianEntin @elonmusk @28delayslaterHow will the batteries hold up to the salty ice that accumulates under vehicl'... https://t.co/8MoCHoR7Nf
Sun Oct 09 06:14:49 +0000 2022
Diane.Did.It : @BrianEntin I don't get it... the cars are just spontaneously combusting inside people's garages!? Just randomly?
Sun Oct 09 04:23:46 +0000 2022
Shining Starr Of The South : @BrianEntin That's good news.probaly 2. Of 100 owners know that Brian.. thanks
Sun Oct 09 03:46:18 +0000 2022
Michael Green : @BrianEntin @DonnaSterban Lib irony. It's a beautiful thing'...
Sun Oct 09 00:33:21 +0000 2022
Sandy Blake : @BrianEntin This applies to any vehicle with a battery, which is every vehicle. I have seen where ICE vehicles hav'... https://t.co/nOvvxdlbzy
Sat Oct 08 22:05:09 +0000 2022
VIDEO - (29) Ronald Kelly on Twitter: "Harvard children's hospital: Babies know in the WOMB if they're transgender! https://t.co/Oh3nUE9i9C" / Twitter
Sun, 09 Oct 2022 15:33
Ronald Kelly : Harvard children's hospital: Babies know in the WOMB if they're transgender! https://t.co/Oh3nUE9i9C
Sat Oct 08 13:15:45 +0000 2022
timesarechanging@all : @RonK3l Isn't this called grooming?
Sun Oct 09 15:31:30 +0000 2022
JR : @RonK3l They would have to know what a woman was to identify as one
Sun Oct 09 15:28:08 +0000 2022
Parsnip : @RonK3l Child mutalation that's all your doing
Sun Oct 09 15:09:37 +0000 2022
ççããºã¼ã(C) : @RonK3l So we can abort these fetuses or not?
Sun Oct 09 15:08:53 +0000 2022
Shouldn't be funny : @RonK3l They've never even encountered an example of the other sex, they cannot even have a concept of different se'... https://t.co/28eT0rnmVQ
Sun Oct 09 15:08:27 +0000 2022
VIDEO - A Harvard nutritionist shares 6 brain foods that will help your kids stay 'sharp and focused'
Sun, 09 Oct 2022 15:27
The first few years of life set the foundation for brain health. Studies show that a nutritious diet in infancy is key to promoting a child's long-term well-being, and the foods they eat can impact their cognition, temperament, motor skills and language development.
As a nutritional psychiatrist, I've found that foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, folate, iron, iodine, zinc, choline and vitamins A, B12 and D support brain function, behavior and learning. Avoiding processed foods with added sugars is also key.
Children can be picky, so parents will have to get creative. Here are six brain foods that will help your kids stay sharp and focused:
1. Superfood smoothiesSmoothies are a tasty way to incorporate lots of nutrients into your child's diet '-- and even disguise foods that they might normally fight. You can even call it a "milkshake."
For the best superfood smoothie, add folate-rich and fiber-rich leafy greens like spinach or kale, along with chia seeds or walnuts for plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and protein. Then throw in an avocado for healthy fats, followed by antioxidant-rich blueberries.
Adding plain, unsweetened yogurt can also increase your smoothie's creaminess, protein levels and gut-healthy probiotics that boost mood.
2. Homemade veggie friesEating a colorful variety of vegetables is so important for getting enough fiber and phytonutrients, as well as fueling both gut health and mental health.
Air fryer ovens add a crispy, crunchy texture to food without deep frying. Use it to make zucchini, carrot or green bean "fries."
Then top the vegetables with a pinch of black pepper and turmeric, rosemary, oregano, parsley or thyme to add flavor.
3. Homemade hummusLegumes are healthy, plant-based sources of iron, zinc, protein and fiber, benefitting brain development.
Homemade hummus is a versatile way to incorporate legumes into your child's diet. It can be served in so many ways, such as a dip paired with apple slices, carrot sticks, thinly sliced celery or sugar snap peas.
Adding some color to your hummus can make it more appealing to kids. Think: a bright orange carrot hummus or a deep-purple beet hummus topped with a monster face made out of vegetables.
4. SalmonIntroducing your child to fish at a young age can increase their likelihood of enjoying it and eating low-fat, vitamin-rich proteins for the rest of their life.
Salmon is soft and mild enough for young children, and is also a good source of vitamin B12 and omega-3s, which promote healthy brain development and happier moods.
5. EggsWhole eggs are an excellent source of brain-boosting vitamins A, D and B12, along with choline. Choline is especially important for young children, as it has been shown to improve brain development and long-term memory.
I recommend buying pastured eggs: One study found that pastured eggs can have twice as much vitamin E and almost three times as many omega-3s as caged eggs.
6. MeatballsSneak some powerful plant-based fiber and nutritious veggies into your child's diet through meatballs.
Start with a base of beans, lentils or pastured ground turkey. Then add shredded spinach or grated zucchini.
Use flax seeds to bind the ingredients for added omega-3s and toss in your spices. Baking the meatballs, versus frying, is the healthiest way to do it.
Dr. Uma Naidoo is a nutritional psychiatrist, brain expert, and faculty member at Harvard Medical School. She is also the Director of Nutritional & Lifestyle Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and author of the best-selling book "This Is Your Brain on Food: An Indispensable Guide to the Surprising Foods that Fight Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, OCD, ADHD, and More." Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
A Harvard nutritionist shares the No. 1 vitamin that keeps her brain 'young and healthy''--and foods she eats 'every day'The 4 vitamins and supplements this immunologist takes every day to strengthen her immune systemA Harvard nutritionist shares the 6 best brain foods: 'Most people aren't eating enough of' theseWatch: Harvard Nutritionist: The No. 1 Vitamin to Keep Your Brain Sharp
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VIDEO - (73) Chris Hedges speaks out for Julian Assange at DOJ - Full Speech - YouTube
Sun, 09 Oct 2022 15:05