Cover for No Agenda Show 1504: Value Chain
November 17th • 3h 9m

1504: Value Chain

Shownotes

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
Prime Time Purge
BTC FTX BCCI
Elon Twitter Digital ID
Great Reset
Build the Wall
Food Intelligence
Mandates & Boosters
Flu RSV Covid Test Scam
Keep me anonymous, but here's some info I can provide as a nurse.
Heard you an John talking about Flu/Covid testing and that you can rule out one of the bugs with just one test (covid). In fact, there is a test that many hospitals/clinics push for patients with respiratory illnesses. The "Cepheid Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2/Flu/RSV" is a single-swab test (nasal swab) that tests for COVID, RSV, and Flu (type A and B). More info in the links below if you're curious.
One of the hospitals local to me (New Hampshire) has price transparency on COVID testing. COVID test (Binax home test) is $0, a hospital-run test for just covid is $50, and this Cepheid test is $179. Every time I've seen an MD for respiratory issues (I have asthma), they push this more expensive test, and I push back as frankly, the treatment is honestly no different (unless I'm dying I'll just avoid others, increase fluids, etc.).
The hospital site also has something called a "Bio-Fire respiratory panel PCR" that I've never heard of. It tests for 22 different organisms for $1079. (!!!) I wouldn't be surprised if they start pushing this one soon...
Links
Iran
War on Drugs
BLM LGBBTQQIAAPK+ Noodle Boy
VAERS
Big Pharma
Ativan BOTG Report
For about 2 years I took 5 milligrams of Ativan twice a day. I was in a crazy stressful job and I have always had anxiety issues (aka I stressed over everything). On Ativan my work was perfect. Other were allowed a 2% error rate without getting too much crap from management. My error rate was 0% and I was buying 5 or 6 million in direct mail components and another million or so in postage. My golf game was never better because I was chilled out.
If Harris is taking Ativan, she is playing a dangerous game. The drug shifts your mind to the “fuck it” gear. I found my financial and personal decisions were skewed to the “don’t worry about it" and my credit cards recorded the reckless spending. I don’t judge Harris as someone with a great intellect. She probably has an average or slightly better IQ and few street smarts. That being said, lower IQ people have difficulty with introspective thinking and on a powerful drug like Ativan, it might get away from her.
For the last 20 years or so, I have found the real cure for my issues. Have some faith in God that he doesn’t want to see you fail and he has good things in store for you, if you would just have a little faith that tomorrow might have a slim chance of being better. The other component is a steady supply of THC. I’m not talking about getting all baked up. I’m talking about finding a nice place, in your head, and maintaining the dose from there.
Fentapills BOTG
Hey Adam - wanted to add a note about the news reporting on the fentapills, "disguised as xanax"
This has been potentially happening for a number of years now since the advent of darknet markets. The bulk drugs are illicitly purchased from underground chinese labs as powder, and then using counterfeit pill pressing machines, are pressed into things like xanax bars.
The bars are usually pressed in Canada, because the criminal code here for counterfeiting pharmaceuticals is a punishment of only a few years. Then the pills are brought over to the states and sold in bulk.
These bulk chinese producers will make whatever you like, so the people buying benzodiazapenes have the option to buy fentanyl as well. Some darknet market sellers "joked" about putting fentanyl into the bars instead of xanax. Some ended up doing it.
These people were usually not particularly sophisticated operators.
Ministry of Truthiness
Elites
STORIES
A new study says it's okay to eat red meat. An immediate uproar follows. - Big Think
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 18:18
It is perhaps fitting that just as McDonald's introduces meatless burgers, a new study, published in the journal, Annals of Internal Medicine, is overturning years' worth of dietary recommendations that we eat less red meat. Not that everyone is taking the study as the final word, however.
A panel of fourteen researchers and three community members from seven countries (reporting no conflicts of interest), directed by Dalhousie University epidemiologist, Bradley Johnson, studied 61 articles on all-cause mortality that included a total of four million participants. The team also reviewed dozens of trials linking red meat to cancer, heart disease, and mortality. The team concluded that the evidence between red meat, both unprocessed and processed, and health problems is ''low to very low.''
The study took three years to complete. Researchers from a range of cultures were included to ensure diversity of thought, while each professional was vetted for perceived conflicts of interest. When considering both processed and unprocessed red meat, 11 researchers voted for adults (age 18 and over) to continue eating recommended allowances and not cut down. In each study, three researchers offered a ''weak recommendation'' for reducing intake.
For the record, the average American adult consumes an average of 4.5 servings of red meat per week.
Organizations such as The American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society immediately came out against the study, with some groups suggesting that the journal withhold publication. They believed that not only would this information contradict years of findings, but it would ''erode public trust in scientific research.''
To be fair, that's the nature of science: If evidence overturns pre-existing norms, that evidence should be considered. However, we need to take a more holistic look at this picture.
Gut Bacteria and Red Meat: Highlight from Cancer and DietNutrition science is tricky. Not only do self-endowed ''life coaches'' and fitness trainers not certified in nutrition offer unsolicited advice, actual scientific bodies find it hard to come to conclusions. One of the biggest issues: It's nearly impossible to isolate macronutrients or entire classes of food given their interactions with all the other food you consume. A burger doesn't have the same effect on your body as a burger with mayonnaise on a bun; whether you drink water or soda to accompany that meal matters too.
The main contention comes from the type of analysis the researchers used. As Harvard nutrition scientist, Frank Hu, says, the GRADE systematic approach was introduced for evaluating drug trials, not nutrition science. Alongside his colleagues, Hu published an article countering the results of the meta-analyses, coming to four conclusions:
The new guidelines are not justified as they contradict the evidence generated from their own meta-analysesThe publication of these studies and the meat guidelines in a major medical journal is unfortunate because following the new guidelines may potentially harm individuals' health, public health, and planetary healthThis is a prime example where one must look beyond the headlines and abstract conclusionsThese studies should not change current recommendations on healthy and balanced eating patterns for the prevention of chronic diseasesClose-up of Impossible Whopper, a meat-free item using engineered, plant-protein based burger patty from food technology company Impossible, during a limited market test at a Burger King restaurant in the San Francisco Bay Area, Danville, California, June 26, 2019.
Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images
As with many topics in American discourse, our diet has become polarized. Those that claim that humans were not designed to eat meat are ignorant of how our biology (and cultures) evolved. As primatologist Richard Wrangham writes, the greatest culinary advancement in history was fire. Cooking made nutrients available much more quickly'--a burger on a grill is more nutritious than chewing on raw meat. And meat is something our ancestors definitively ate whenever they could.
What also doesn't help is a sentiment that has been batted around the holistic blogosphere: that meat is toxic. To be fair, growth hormones and factory farming have increased the potential for toxicity in our food supply. But meat itself is not inherently toxic to our digestive system. As Harvard paleoanthropologist, Daniel Lieberman, writes, given our ancestors' adaptation to diverse climates, there is no ''optimal diet.'' We ate what we could source. That said, meat consumption offered a particularly important boon to our biology.
''By incorporating meat in the diet and relying more on food processing, early Homo was able to spend much less energy digesting its food and could thus devote more energy toward growing and paying for a larger brain.''
Yet that doesn't mean we need to eat meat, at least not as much of it was we do. Beyond sating our biological impulse, industrial agriculture'--specifically, beef and dairy production'--is one of the biggest drivers of climate change. Beef is extremely taxing on the environment, much more so than chicken or pork agriculture.
From a climate perspective, plant-based diets are less taxing, though you often run into the problem of nutrient loss due to monocropping. Plant-based burgers might be all the rage, but that also doesn't mean they're healthy, which brings into question whether or not it makes sense to sacrifice personal health for a perceived environmental gain.
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An easy answer? Not here.
One thing is clear: The current rate of beef production is unsustainable. Whether or not 4.5 servings of red meat will increase your risk of cancer or heart disease might remain a source of contention. But a more important question remains: If reducing your meat intake is better for the environment (and therefore everyone's health), isn't that a wiser decision to make?
'--
Stay in touch with Derek on Twitter and Facebook.
'Like brewing beer': This start-up makes baby formula with human proteins to mimic breast milk | Euronews
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 18:16
Studies have shown that baby formula is no match for human breast milk when it comes to nourishing babies and boosting their immune systems.
But one company is trying to create the first type of formula to have human proteins in it, in a move that could spark a wave of innovation across the industry.
The CEO of US-based Helaina spoke at Web Summit in Lisbon earlier this month on the future of food, and talked up her company's ambitions to transform an industry she said had failed to innovate for decades, leaving parents of newborns with insufficient options.
The World Health Organization (WHO) advocates breastfeeding children exclusively for their first six months, pointing to a range of benefits, such as protection against gastrointestinal infections, boosts to the immune system, and overall improved nutrition.
But many parents feed their babies formula - whether by choice or necessity - and as it is most commonly made from cow milk, it doesn't have the same health benefits as human breast milk.
While formula in both the US and Europe is required to meet certain nutritional standards, ensuring it can give the baby all the nutrients it needs to grow and stay healthy, breast milk is highly complicated and most likely impossible to be replicated with a formula.
What Helaina is trying to do is to incorporate human proteins into its formula, to give as many of the benefits associated with breast milk as possible.
''There are really special properties of proteins in breast milk, with how they help to support the immune system as the baby grows,'' Laura Katz, the founder and CEO of Helaina, told Euronews Next.
''It's very specific to humans. With a human drinking human milk, we're getting human proteins that our bodies can recognise and use''.
The composition of breast milk is complex and dynamic, adapting itself over time to the changing needs of the growing baby. Its unique biology isn't fully understood by the scientific community yet, so replicating breast milk entirely cannot currently be done, Katz explained.
Brrewing up a new formula for human-like milkWhat can be done, Katz said, is replicate the proteins found in human breast milk.
''How we do this is similar to how you make beer. So when you make beer, you take yeast, you give it nutrients, and you give it all the things it needs to grow. You ferment it. And then that yeast makes alcohol''.
The scientists at Helaina are able to programme the yeast to make the human proteins they want to add to the formula, she explained.
They give the yeast the nutrients it needs to grow and ferment.
''And when they grow in the fermentation, they start to spit out proteins that are identical to what's in breast milk,'' she said.
''These yeast are kind of like little cell factories and there's millions of them in one tank. And all these little cell factories, once they're triggered or turned on, they're going to be spitting out the proteins''.
The company is still developing its product, which will have to go through a clinical study before it can be approved for sale.
The company, which is based in New York City, has received investment of more than $25 million ('‚¬24.9 million) so far.
'Lack of innovation for the last 50 years'For parents in the US who rely on baby formula, a shortage earlier this year highlighted the need for change in the industry.
US president Joe Biden ordered emergency airlifts of formula from Europe, while invoking decades-old wartime powers to speed up production at home.
That was a result of health giant Abbott Nutrition issuing a safety recall for formula across the US, which exacerbated already stretched supply chains.
For Katz, that scare for millions of parents was just the latest issue in an industry that she says has seen a lack of innovation for ''the last 30, 40, 50 years''.
''We see currently three players own most of the market and they have their own manufacturing facilities, so when an issue happens with a facility, as we saw with the Abbott facility, that one facility was making 25 per cent of the US supply of infant formula,'' she said.
''So if something happens to one player, the whole supply gets seriously impacted. What that means is parents don't know what to feed their baby, which is ultimately the biggest concern''.
Although Helaina has big plans, it won't be solving the supply issues immediately.
It is aiming to be the first company to sell formula with human protein, which brings ''unique challenges'' in terms of working with regulators and scaling, Katz explained.
Other companies have tried to do similar things in the past, but Katz believes her start-up has appeared at the right time.
''There are a few things that we've benefited from over the past few years that didn't exist 10, 15, 20 years ago - advanced gene editing tools that actually allow us to create the proteins, exactly how they're found in humans. Without these tools, we wouldn't be so successful''.
While securing capacity for manufacturing has been another difficulty, Helaina is starting to find more options, she said, especially as other companies have started seeking regulatory approval for their own human proteins.
Katz told Euronews Next that Helaina was also in talks with a ''handful'' of companies in Europe, a region she believes is showing ''a little bit more advanced thinking on infant formula'' than in the US.
''So there's a big appetite for what we're doing, which is exciting,'' she said.
Myocarditis after Covid vaccine: Research on long-term effects underway
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 18:16
In October 2021, Da'Vion Miller was found unconscious in the bathroom of his home in Detroit a week after receiving his first dose of Pfizer's Covid vaccine.
He had known something was wrong: Then 22, he had started experiencing chest pain two days after getting vaccinated, followed by fatigue, shortness of breath and dizziness.
Miller was rushed to Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, where he was diagnosed with myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle, and pericarditis, an inflammation of the outer lining of the heart. His doctor advised him not to receive a second dose of either the Pfizer or the Moderna vaccines.
''I was like, that's crazy,'' Miller said, noting that he knows the heart inflammation condition following vaccination is extremely rare.
Da'Vion Miller. Courtesy Da'Vion MillerMiller is one of a very small group of people in the United States who have experienced myocarditis following vaccination with the Pfizer-BioNTech or the Moderna Covid vaccines based on mRNA technology.
Myocarditis is a condition that has long been linked to a number of viral infections, including influenza, coxsackieviruses, as well as Covid. It has also been observed as an infrequent but worrisome side effect of the mRNA Covid vaccines.
Are there long-term risks of myocarditis? Of the hundreds of millions of Covid vaccine doses given in the U.S. since late 2020, there have been around 1,000 reports of vaccine-related myocarditis or pericarditis in children under age 18, primarily young males, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most of those who developed the condition have fully recovered, although research so far has only looked at how well they're doing after several months. Some doctors wonder if it can cause permanent damage to the heart.
Now, the first research in the U.S. is underway, tracking adverse health effects '-- if any '-- that may appear in the years following a diagnosis of vaccine-associated heart problems. Moderna has already launched two trials, the most recent in September. Pfizer confirmed that at least one of its trials, which will include up to 500 teens and young adults under age 21, is slated to begin in the next couple of months.
The Food and Drug Administration has required that the drugmakers conduct several studies assessing the potential long-term impacts of myocarditis, as part of its approval of the mRNA Covid vaccines in the U.S. Early findings from the research could be published as early as next year, sources told NBC News.
Some of the trials will follow those who developed the condition for as long as five years, according to the FDA's approval letters. The trials will be monitoring for myocarditis and subclinical myocarditis, which doesn't cause symptoms.
The FDA declined to comment on Pfizer's and Moderna's studies because they are ongoing, but an agency official said the chance of having myocarditis occur following vaccination is "very low."
The condition does not lead to cardiac-related death, the official said, as claimed by Florida's surgeon general last month who cited an unpublished analysis of state data.
"There is no evidence of increased risk of deaths following mRNA vaccines compared to individuals who did not get vaccinated," the official said. "In fact, evidence from well-conducted, peer-reviewed, published studies suggests that the risk of death is higher for unvaccinated individuals for nearly every age group."
What is known about myocarditis and vaccines? The vast majority of cases occur in young men, ages 16 to 24, according to the CDC. The agency did not have data available on the total number of cases in young adults 24 and younger, but it estimates there have been 52.4 cases and 56.3 cases per million doses of Pfizer's and Moderna's vaccines, respectively.
Symptoms of myocarditis include:
Chest painShortness of breathFeelings of having a fast-beating, fluttering or pounding heartA study by Canadian researchers published Monday in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that men younger than 40 who got the Moderna vaccine had the highest risk of heart issues, usually within 21 days after the second dose. The study was observational, meaning it doesn't prove cause and effect but it is one of only a few studies to compare the risk of myocarditis between the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccines.
Last month, Kaiser Permanente scientists found that incidences of myocarditis following a booster dose of either the Pfizer or the Moderna vaccine were higher than after the first dose, but still lower than after the second.
More news on Covid and heart risksA report from the CDC in April found heart issues were more common after a Covid infection, compared with cardiac issues after vaccination.After a Covid infection, heart risks remain elevated for up to a year. Video: CDC says waiting longer between Covid vaccine doses could reduce myocarditis risk. There has not been a similar reporting pattern observed after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Novavax has said no heart inflammation concerns were raised during clinical trials of its vaccine.
Vaccine-associated myocarditis is usually milder than the viral type and most people with the condition make a full recovery, said Dr. Nicola Klein, a vaccine expert at Kaiser Permanente.
In some cases, people who've developed myocarditis after a viral infection can suffer scarring along the heart's tissue, reducing its ability to pump blood and circulate oxygen around the body, said Dr. Leslie Cooper, the chair of the department of cardiology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Cooper joined an expert advisory panel formed by Moderna to monitor its Covid vaccine safety.
It's unknown how many people with vaccine-associated myocarditis will experience this scarring, he said, noting that about 20% of people with myocarditis linked to viruses go on to experience heart failure.
''It could be 2%. It could be 0%. It could be 20%,'' he said, referring to the percentage of people with vaccine-associated myocarditis who could experience long-term heart consequences. ''We don't know the answer.''
The CDC recently published a study in The Lancet that looked at health outcomes in more than 500 teens and young adults at least 90 days after the onset of myocarditis following an mRNA vaccination.
Most got better at least three months after symptoms. Other findings from the CDC report included:
About a quarter of the patients in the study were prescribed daily medication related to myocarditis at their last health care provider follow-up. A little more than 100 of the patients had not been cleared for physical activity. In addition, 81 patients had an abnormality on their cardiac MRI '-- although that doesn't necessarily mean that they are at risk for any adverse health problems.The CDC will follow the patients who had not fully recovered for 12 months, said Ian Kracalik, the study's lead author and CDC epidemiologist.
Are some patients at higher risk for heart issues, such as arrhythmias? Dr. Dongngan Truong, a pediatrician at the University of Utah Health, said Pfizer researchers will be trying to determine the factors.
Pfizer, in collaboration with the Pediatric Heart Network, will be monitoring participants for five years, according to Truong, a co-lead on the Pfizer study. The Pfizer study will include people who were previously hospitalized with vaccine-associated myocarditis, and it will also follow those who were more recently diagnosed.
The team will also compare the patients to a subset of patients with multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, also known as MIS-C, which is associated with a Covid infection.
Truong said that monitoring what happens to younger people and children after Covid infections is ''especially important'' to get a clearer understanding of the risks of the illness, compared to any possible side effects of the vaccines.
The Pfizer study, which will take place in the U.S. and Canada, has not begun enrollment yet, although the research team has already identified more than 250 patients with myocarditis, she said.
The first findings could be released sometime next year, Truong said.
Scientists still don't have a clear explanation yet for why the vaccines cause the condition, according to Dr. Paul Burton, Moderna's chief medical officer. He expects the virus's spike protein, once produced in the cell after vaccination, may generate a reaction in the body that can cause inflammation in the heart.
''We don't understand yet and there's no good mechanism to explain it,'' he said.
The two myocarditis studies Moderna has started, one of which is in collaboration with the American College of Cardiology, are using public and private data of tens of millions of people who received the company's vaccine and how they fared, Burton said.
''Did they get myocarditis? When did it occur? How was it treated? How severe was it?'' he said.
Moderna is also conducting two additional studies with the European Medicines Agency that will span five different countries. The drugmaker will assess outcomes for a year or more, Burton said, with data expected to be made public around next summer.
He said he doesn't expect ''big surprises.''
In recent weeks, multiple new versions of the omicron variant, including BQ.1 and BQ.1.1, have begun circulating widely in the U.S., increasing the risk of reinfections, particularly for those who haven't yet received a booster dose.
''The emerging new variants that we see on the landscape are very, very infectious, and really have a high risk,'' Burton said. ''The benefit ratio of getting vaccinated outweighs the risks of getting vaccinated. And that is absolutely true for myocarditis.''
Klein, of Kaiser Permanente, agreed, saying the overall risk of vaccine-associated myocarditis is ''very low.''
A year later, Miller is still experiencing symptoms, including chest pain. While there is comfort in knowing his situation is rare, he said, he's been in and out of the hospital since his diagnosis, which he said has been difficult for him.
''It's been a scary experience,'' he said.
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The Modern Electioneering Process of "Ballot Submission Assistance" is Taking Center Stage - The Last Refuge
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 18:16
If CTH had a small part in helping people to reset their reference points around modern electioneering, well, that's a good thing.
The difference between ''ballots'' and ''votes'' is previously explained {SEE HERE} and absolutely critical to understand before moving forward.
Thankfully a large percentage of conservatives, intellectually honest independents and even some establishment republican donors have read our research and are now starting to have the 'votes' vs 'ballots' conversation. That understanding is critical, because any conversation that does not accurately identify and accept the problem is futile.
Having said that, please do not think we are smarter than the RNC. We are not. Miss this point and you miss the next 'ah-ha' moment.
The RNC club knew exactly what the DNC club were doing in their 2022 midterm ''ballot submission assistance'' program. Yes, that's exactly what ''ballot harvesting'' is called now. ''Ballot Harvesting'' is illegal in many states, ''Ballot Submission Assistance'' is not.
Progressive political activists in the state of Arizona are now scrubbing the footprints of their ballot submission assistance programs. Wait, Arizona(?) you say. Yes, Arizona a state where ''ballot harvesting'' is illegal, but email, fax, online and in person drop-off is possible. Ballot assistance is essentially the same harvesting process but in a smaller and more individualized scale.
REFERENCE and CONTEXT is critical to understanding.
After Eric Holder left the Obama administration as Attorney General, he was hired by the State of California to defend against the Trump administration in early January 2017 (LINK).
Why?
When Eric Holder left the Obama administration, his firm was contracted by California during a process of linking the motor vehicle registration files to the Secretary of State voter registration system. Holder was advising on part of a technology system being constructed to bridge the DMV and SoS offices. You might know this as a ''Motor/Voter'' process. However, former AG Eric Holder had a very specific function in the construction of this technology bridge.
The process of adding voters to the registration rolls when they receive or update their driver's license was seen as an opportunity to expand the voter rolls. Making the voter rolls as big as possible is the key to the utilization of mass mail-out balloting. I will skip the part where California started giving illegal aliens drivers licenses for a moment '' you can obviously see how that would play with motor/voter rolls '' instead I am choosing just to focus on the specifics of the Holder aspect.
The DMV needed to connect to the SoS office. This was simply a part of a tech system that needed to be built. CTH has previously spoken with the lead engineer, a member of a very small technology group, who worked in the California information technology (IT) unit that was tasked with building the system that connected the DMV to the SOS. [NOTE: I invite the state of California to sue me as they will likely claim what you are about to read is not true.]
In the process of connecting the two state networks together, there needed to be a ''flag'', essentially a check box, where the applicant to the DMV would attest to being legally authorized to vote. It is a positive affirmation, a check box, that says the Driver's License holder affirms they are legally eligible to vote. That affirmation (the technical flag in the process), when affirmed, then transmits the information to the SoS office with the DL operator identity, and the California driver is automatically added to the SoS rolls and registered to vote.
During the time when Eric Holder was the legal counsel for the California Secretary of State, the technology team was constructing the internal data processing systems.
The lead engineer in the unit was instructed to code the data transfer in such a way that even if the ''check box'' was left unchecked, the registration data would transmit from the DMV to the SoS office.
Essentially, instead of only those who affirmed their legal eligibility by checking the box, everyone -including those who did not check the box- would get a DL and would automatically have their information transmitted to the SoS office. Everyone who received a driver's license or state issued id was automatically going to be registered to vote, regardless of their legally authorized status. That request led the engineer to contact me.
I wrote about it, published the details, then the engineer freaked out as he/she realized there was only a very limited number of people who could expose the issue. He/She was worried about his/her safety and family and asked me to remove the article. This background is how I know the details of who, what, when and why the California mass mailing ballot process was being constructed.
In the 2018 midterm elections we all watched the outcome of that process surface in the weeks following election day. As each day passed more and more California mail-in ballots were being counted and day-by-day Republicans who won on election day 2018 watched their lead evaporate.
What happened in the California 2018 midterm election surrounding state-wide ballot distribution, collection (harvesting) and eventual presentation to the counting and tabulation facilities, was the BETA test for the 2020 covid-inspired national ballot mailing process.
The outcome we are seeing from the 2022 midterm ballot collection program was not just similar to the 2020 general election ballot collection program, it is a direct outcome of the refined BETA test from 2018. Now we have multiple states following the California mass distribution of ballots approach. Washington state, California, Arizona, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, New York, New Jersey, Michigan, there's a long list.
In many states mass mailing of ballots is now codified in election law. Activist election lawyer Marc Elias now coming in behind the construction team of Eric Holder with the legal arguments to support the ballot collection programs.
The Importance of Election Rolls '' As you can see from the California initiation point (Motor/Voter), in order to most effectively use the mass distribution of ballots as an electioneering process you first need a massive state secretary voter file in order to generate, then mail, the physical ballots.
Remember, votes require people '' ballots require systems.
Any institutional system that can link people into the SoS system to generate a larger registration file for ballot distribution is a net positive. The key point is not to generate voters, the key is to generate ballots '' the more the better. Mass printing of ballots is the origin of the electioneering process.
Any state or federal system that links a physical identity to the secretary of state voter rolls is good. Any system, like the USPS postal change of address system, that would remove physical identities from the state voter rolls is not useful. The goal is to maximize the number of systems that generate registration, that eventually generates ballots.
Beyond the Driver's License issue, it's everything. Sign up for public assistance, get registered to vote. Sign up for state benefits, get registered to vote. Sign up for a state id, get registered to vote. Sign up for state college, get registered to vote. Sign up for a grant, get registered to vote. Sign up for unemployment, get registered to vote. Sign up for any state system and get registered to vote. Get married, change names, change addresses, etc, that's how the voter rolls expand and that's how the massive distribution of ballots is created.
The states then fight against anything, any effort, any process, that would purge voter rolls or fix incorrect voting rolls. To use the new electioneering system, the system operators need ballots created, they no longer need votes. They need ballots.
Downstream from this process that's where you find the ''ballot submission assistance'' programs. This is where the local community networks, regional activist groups and widespread community organizers come into play. Instead of advertising or the previous electioneering systems around candidate promotion and Get Out The Vote (GOTV) efforts, the majority of donations to the DNC are now used in the ballot assistance programs.
SIDEBAR '' Now keep in mind, the origination of the ballots starts with expanded voter rolls. The rolls contain the registry status of people, regardless of their accuracy or inaccuracy.
If you were going to hire a printing company to send out fancy wedding invitations, you would need to provide that third-party with the names, addresses and details of the invitation recipients, right? Now, overlay ballots into a similar framework. Do you remember the recent issue of Konnech (CEO Eugene Yu), an election technology company, indicted for transmitting the data files of every registered voter in Pennsylvania (and more) to China?
Inside that Konnech story is how the modern ballot creation issue connects to the activity of Eugene Yu. Did pre-printed ballots arrive en-mass, in the U.S.A, as a result of the massive data files transmitted to China? That might be a sticky-widget for quite a few interests. Then again, what state just dropped the charges against Yu on the day after the midterm election? Oh, California. I digress'...
The RNC and DNC are Corporations. Please understand that both the RNC and DNC are not government entities. They are each private corporations with their individual agenda, rules and memberships. These are corporations that function more like private clubs.
When it comes to ballot collection as a newly enhanced modern electioneering process, the RNC club isn't incompetent or stupid, they knew what the DNC club was doing.
The RNC club operated in the 2022 midterm election to support (willful blindness) the DNC club effort. Why? Because the RNC club wants to remove the problems they have with the populist movement. The issues are big.
The RNC Club wants, as billionaire donor Ken Griffin explained from his discussions with Ronna McDaniel, Ron DeSantis and Kevin McCarthy, to remove the populist elements within the Republican party, vis-a-vis MAGA, and realign with the multinational corporations on Wall Street. ''He wants to improve the diversity of the GOP and blunt the vein of populism that has complicated the party's relationship with the corporate world '-- two things he's consulted with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy about.'' (link)
As you can see, the issue of ''votes'' -vs- ''ballots'', is not a singular issue for American voters. We have a mixed bag of mutually aligned common enemies in this process.
Republican politicians will support any process, including mass mailout ballot distribution and collection, regardless of its corrupt status, that will eliminate what they define as the problem within their club.
Their problem has a face'....
.
Midterm outcome making sense now?[Support CTH Research HERE].
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USA make World Cup statement by REDESIGNING their crest with rainbow colors | Daily Mail Online
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 18:15
USA make a statement at the World Cup in Qatar by REDESIGNING their crest with rainbow colors to show solidarity with the LGBTQ+ communityThe USMNT squad have arrived in Qatar to continue their World Cup preparationTeam showed solidarity with LGBTQ+ community by redesigning their USA crest Rather than the usual red stripes, the new crest incorporates rainbow colors New crest won't be worn on the field but is in place around their base in Doha Click here for all your latest international Sports news from DailyMail.com Click here for the latest World Cup 2022 news, fixtures, live action and resultsBy Ben Nagle For Dailymail.Com
Published: 10:04 EST, 14 November 2022 | Updated: 11:50 EST, 14 November 2022
The United States' men's national team have made a huge statement at the World Cup in Qatar by redesigning their crest to incorporate the rainbow flag, in a bid to show solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community.
The tournament, which starts on Sunday and sees the US play their opener against Wales on Monday, has been hugely controversial in its build-up, given Qatar's human rights record and attitude to homosexuality.
As recently as this month, a Qatar World Cup ambassador told a German TV broadcaster that homosexuality was 'damage to the mind', and it remains illegal to be gay in the conservative Muslim country.
The USMNT appear to have made an immediate stand on their arrival in Doha, though, by changing the usual red stripes on their crest to a rainbow around their team base.
Pictures from the Al Gharrafa SC Stadium in Ar-Rayyan, where the US team trained on Monday, showed a huge US crest on the wall, alongside the slogan 'One Nation'.
It is understood the crest on the team's kits on the field won't be changed, but the new colors will be shown off at their practice facilities.
The US national team crest has been changed from its usual red to rainbow colors this week
Before the switch, the stripes in the flag were all red - but now they are rainbow colors
Neil Buethe, the USMNT's Chief Communications Officer, told DailyMail.com: 'Our rainbow badge has an important and consistent role in the identity of U.S. Soccer.
'As part of our approach for any match or event, we include rainbow branding to support and embrace the LGBTQ community, as well as to promote a spirit of inclusiveness and welcoming to all fans across the globe.
'As a result, locations that we will manage and operate at the FIFA World Cup, such as the team hotel, media areas and parties, will feature both traditional and rainbow U.S. Soccer branding.'
Over the past few weeks and months, many players have raised concerns over the rights of fans travelling to the event, especially LGBT+ individuals and women, whom rights groups say Qatari laws discriminate against.
Qatar is the first Middle Eastern country to host the World Cup but the small nation has come under intense pressure in recent years for its treatment of foreign workers and restrictive social laws.
The country's human rights record has led to calls for teams and officials to boycott the November 20 to December 18 tournament.
The new crest was seen ahead of boss Gregg Berhalter's first press conference in Qatar
Berhalter spoke ahead of the long-awaited tournament, which begins on Sunday morning
The US national team arrived at their Doha base at the end of last week, with some players joining at the weekend following their final club matches.
Among the later arrivals was Christian Pulisic, who featured for Chelsea away at Newcastle on Saturday evening, before heading out to the tournament.
Gregg Berhalter's side face Wales in their opening Group B match, before huge clashes against England and then Iran as they bid to qualify for the knockout stages.
Christian Pulisic trained with his teammates on Monday after arriving for the World Cup
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Opioid settlement: Walmart agrees to $3.1 billion framework | CNN Business
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 18:14
New York CNN Business '--
Walmart agreed to the framework of a $3.1 billion settlement, which resolves allegations from multiple states' attorneys general that the company failed to regulate opioid prescriptions contributing to the nationwide opioid crisis.
The settlement, according to the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James, who co-led a coalition of attorneys general in the negotiation, will also ''include broad, court-ordered requirements Walmart must comply with, such as robust oversight to prevent fraudulent prescriptions and flag suspicious prescriptions.''
Walmart said in a statement it ''believes the settlement framework is in the best interest of all parties and will provide significant aid to communities across the country in the fight against the opioid crisis, with aid reaching state and local governments faster than any other nationwide opioid settlement to date, subject to satisfying all settlement requirements.''
But Walmart said it ''strongly disputes the allegations in these matters,'' noting the settlement framework does not include any admission of liability.
The framework will resolve virtually all opioid lawsuits and potential lawsuits by state, local, and tribal governments against Walmart, assuming all the settlement's conditions are satisfied.
As part of the framework of the agreement, New York state will receive up to $116 million. The settlement is still pending approval from other states, but James' office believes they will give the deal their blessing by the end of the year.
''Attorney General James and her colleagues are optimistic that the settlement will gain support of the required 43 states by the end of 2022, allowing local governments to join the deal during the first quarter of 2023,'' the release said.
Attorneys General from New York, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas helped to negotiate this agreement.
''Promising negotiations,'' are still underway with other pharmacies including Walgreens and CVS, James' office said.
News of the multistate settlement comes after the New York Attorney General's office announced it has secured $523 million from Teva Pharmaceuticals and affiliates for its role in the opioid crisis, effectively marking the end of the state's litigation against opioid manufacturers and distributors not currently in bankruptcy proceedings.
Fact check '' Iran has not sentenced '15,000' protesters to death
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 18:14
In the past few days, social media has been flooded with unsubstantiated reports alleging that the Islamic Republic of Iran sentenced 15,000 protesters to death in the wake of street protests and violent riots sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini.
The misleading allegations largely stem from a 6 November report by the UK-based and Saudi-funded Iran International news outlet regarding a letter signed by a majority of Iranian lawmakers.
227 members of the 290-seat Parliament of Iran have called on the Judiciary to issue death sentences for people arrested during the ongoing anti-government protests.https://t.co/iFQsRNZDUj pic.twitter.com/xau922a6ay
'-- Iran International English (@IranIntl_En) November 6, 2022
In this letter, 227 out 290 lawmakers urged the judiciary to consider severe punishments for those involved in the riots.
''We, the representatives of this nation, ask all state officials, including the Judiciary, to treat those, who waged war [against the Islamic Republic] and attacked people's life and property like [ISIS terrorists], in a way that would serve as a good lesson in the shortest possible time,'' they said.
Within just a few days, western outlets like Newsweek chose to misconstrue this story, outright turning it into fake news by alleging the Iranian parliament ''voted overwhelmingly in favor of the death penalty for protesters.''
This is horrifying. The Iranian parliament votes overwhelmingly (227-63) to execute the 15,000 protesters they already arrested.
These were peaceful protestors simply seeking the right to basic justice and autonomy. Unacceptable and barbaric.https://t.co/7mMd2hIwTb
'-- Qasim Rashid, Esq. (@QasimRashid) November 14, 2022
Many western public figures '' including celebrities like Peter Frampton, Sophie Turner, Viola Davis, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau '' poured fuel on the fire, shamelessly spreading the latest piece of fake news against Iran.
In reality, no such vote has taken place in Tehran, as signing a letter does not constitute passing a law. Moreover, the Iranian parliament does not issue sentences, as the judiciary is laid out as a separate branch of government in the Iranian Constitution.
Chapter 11 of the constitution further lays out the judiciary's role as an independent power.
Further muddying the waters, the figure of 15,000 protesters detained by Iranian authorities originates from the Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).
US-based HRANA is the media arm of the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRAI), a group that receives funding from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) '' a CIA soft power front that has for decades funded regime-change efforts across the globe.
Officially, Iran has so far sentenced one protester to death on charges of ''disturbing public peace and order, assembly and conspiracy to commit a crime against national security and corruption on earth,'' state news agency IRNA reported on 14 November.
The person reportedly set a government center on fire in Tehran province.
Five others were given between five to 10 years in prison under charges of ''assembly and collusion to commit crimes against national security and disruption of public order and peace.''
Late last month, Iran's Judiciary announced that 1,000 people would be tried in public in Tehran for their participation in the riots.
Iranian authorities have blamed foreign powers for inciting street violence in a heavy-handed attempt at forcing the revolutionary government out of power. Even former US officials have admitted that separatist groups in western Iran are being trained and armed in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region (IKR) for this very purpose.
Facilitating Wholesale Digital Asset Settlement - FEDERAL RESERVE BANK of NEW YORK
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 18:13
The New York Innovation Center (NYIC) is participating in a proof-of-concept project along with members of the private sector to explore the feasibility of an interoperable network of digital central bank liabilities and commercial bank digital money using distributed ledger technology.
Problem Space
Distributed ledgers enable a common source of truth for asset exchange as well as advancements in payments such as DvP (delivery versus payment) and PvP (payment versus payment) settlement. However, current designs for exchange mechanisms based on distributed ledger technology do not enable interoperable transfer and settlement of digital assets between regulated financial institutions.
Solution Concept
In a 12-week proof-of-concept project'--the Regulated Liability Network U.S. Pilot'--the NYIC will experiment with the concept of a regulated liability network (RLN). RLN is a concept for a financial market infrastructure (FMI) facilitating digital asset transactions that connect deposits held at regulated financial institutions using distributed ledger technology.
This theoretical FMI provides a multi-asset, always-on, programmable infrastructure containing digital representations of central bank, commercial bank, and regulated non-bank issuer liabilities, denominated in U.S. dollars.
Experiment Design
The proof-of-concept will build a prototype for a distributed ledger-based network and test the feasibility of payments between financial institutions using tokenized regulated liabilities on the RLN. The project will consist of three workstreams (technology, organization, and settlement) that will:
Assess the feasibility of distributed ledger technology to enable the base use case;Illuminate technical and functional design considerations for the concept;Gain insight into the value of other potential use cases.The project will be conducted in a test environment and only use simulated data. Participants include BNY Mellon, Citi, HSBC, Mastercard, PNC Bank, TD Bank, Truist, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo. Swift, the global financial messaging service provider, is supporting interoperability across the international financial ecosystem.
The technology sandbox vendor is SETL with Digital Asset. Legal services are being provided by Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, and Deloitte will be providing advisory services.
Next Steps
After the proof-of-concept, a report summarizing the findings from design and testing will be released. It will include an outline of guidelines for participants in the theoretical FMI as well as a legal assessment of finality of settlement and other aspects of the RLN construct.
As Trump announces 2024 White House run, GOP megadonors back DeSantis, Youngkin, other Republicans
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 18:12
Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks as he attends a rally in Warren, Michigan, October 1, 2022.
Dieu-Nalio Chery | Reuters
A growing group of Republican megadonors are backing a fresh crop of GOP presidential contenders for 2024 '-- even as Donald Trump readies his own bid for the White House '-- blaming the former U.S. president for the party's lackluster performance in the midterms last week.
Some of the nation's wealthiest GOP donors have been eyeing Florida's and Virginia's Republican governors, Ron DeSantis and Glenn Youngkin, as more rational '-- and more importantly, electable '-- candidates for the White House in 2024. Although neither man has formally announced his candidacy, they have both started to put in place the fundraising teams and infrastructure that would be necessary to explore a presidential bid.
Trump has railed against the rising GOP stars as they steal away the party's attention, and campaign donations, further driving away some of Trump's most loyal backers.
"I'm not going to give (Trump) a f---ing nickel," said New York-based businessperson Andy Sabin, who donated $120,000 toward Trump's failed 2020 reelection bid. Sabin contributed $55,000 this year to a pro-DeSantis PAC, Friends of Ron DeSantis, which supported the Florida governor's successful bid for reelection, according to state campaign finance records. And he plans to back DeSantis if he jumps into the next race for president.
Trump announced on Tuesday night that he was running for president in 2024. Trump's PACs have largely relied on small-dollar donors. Save America, one of Trump's PACs, has raised over $36 million in the 2022 election cycle from individuals who have given $200 or more, according to data from OpenSecrets.
Sabin blames Trump for the party's poor showing on Election Day. Democrats maintained control of the Senate after a key victory by Sen. Catherine Cortez-Masto, D-Nev. While Republicans are projected to pick up a few seats as well as control of the U.S. House of Representatives, it's not by the wide margin many expected and certainly not the "red wave" Trump and others predicted.
"At the end of the day, people stayed away because of Trump," Sabin told CNBC. At a campaign rally for Republican candidate J.D. Vance the day before he won the Ohio Senate seat last week, Trump said he planned to make a "very big announcement" on Nov. 15. That didn't help other campaigns, Sabin said.
Trump also "endorsed candidates who were not necessarily qualified unless they said 'I love you, Donald,'" Sabin added.
In the three-dozen elections labeled "toss-up" by Cook Political Report, Trump endorsed six Republicans. Five of them lost, according to a CNBC analysis. Trump also endorsed dozens of winning House candidates, but many of those Republicans were in firmly red districts without a serious competitor. Almost all of the Trump endorsed secretary of state and gubernatorial candidates within key swing states have lost. Many of those candidates pushed false claims about the 2020 election being stolen from Trump.
In a YouGov poll taken after the Nov. 8 election, shows that 41% of those surveyed who said they were Republican prefer DeSantis as the GOP nominee for president in 2024 to 39% who like Trump. A new Politico/Morning Consult poll shows 47% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents would support Trump. The same poll shows 33% would support DeSantis.
Miami Dolphins owner and real estate titan Stephen Ross, has told friends that he likes DeSantis and could back him if he ran for president, according to a person close to the billionaire. Ross hosted a fundraiser for Trump at his Hamptons home in 2019 to raise money for Trump's campaign and the Republican National Committee. Ross gave $220,000 to the Friends of Ron DeSantis PAC this year, state records show.
Ross once told The New York Times that although he "liked" Trump, he didn't agree with a lot of his policies. "I believe there's a lot of good, and I believe there's a lot of bad," Ross told the Times in 2020. A spokesperson for Related did not respond to a request for comment.
Citadel CEO Ken Griffin, who gave over $100 million in the midterms mainly toward Republicans running for state and federal races, recently told Politico that he's prepared to back DeSantis if he runs for president. DeSantis gave $5 million to the Friends of Ron DeSantis PAC last year, state records show.
"He did a lot of things really well and missed the mark on some important areas,'' Griffin told Politico when speaking of Trump. ''And for a litany of reasons, I think it's time to move on to the next generation.'' During a recent Bloomberg summit, Griffin called Trump a "three-time loser" and said he hoped the former president would not run again.
Youngkin has turned to businessperson and former Trump administration official Ray Washburne to introduce the Virginia governor to key donors and political strategists as he prepares for a possible run for president, according to people familiar with the matter.
Washburne was the CEO of Overseas Private Investment Corporation during Trump's first term in office. He's also been a Republican political fundraiser for years, including helping raise campaign cash for Trump's initial 2016 run for president.
Youngkin's been tapped by the party to help other Republicans win office, campaigning earlier this month for South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, who both won their bids for reelection.
Attorney and GOP fundraiser Eric Levine emailed an essay to Republican allies on Saturday, actively campaigning against a potential nominee. Levine previously told CNBC that some big donors have told him they're concerned Trump is the one candidate who could lose to President Joe Biden in a rematch in 2024. While Levine didn't personally donate to Trump's races, he helped raise campaign cash for several other candidates Trump endorsed in the last cycle.
Levine said the "Republican presidential bench" was filled with a roster of people he says would have a better chance than Trump to win in 2024 including DeSantis, Youngkin, former Trump Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley, former Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C.
"I will work very hard with like-minded Republicans to make sure he is not our nominee in 2024 because I want to win! Embracing Trump is not a winning a strategy," Levine said in the essay. "If this election showed us anything, it showed we cannot win the Trump base alone. We need independents, suburban women, and moderate Democrats if we want to win and govern effectively. These are the groups most repulsed by Trump. Time for a reality check. Time to put our Party and country ahead of the cult of Trump."
Gov. Gavin Newsom's wife breaks down describing Harvey Weinstein's 'fish-like' penis in court
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 18:12
Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the wife of California Gov. Gavin Newsom, sobbed as she described Harvey Weinstein's ''distorted'' and ''fish-like'' genitals during her bombshell testimony at the disgraced movie producer's sexual assault trial Monday.
Identified in court as Jane Doe 4, Siebel Newsom broke down in tears recounting how Weinstein allegedly raped her in 2005 at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills.
''I'm standing. I'm resisting,'' she said. ''Horror. I'm trembling. This is my worst nightmare. I'm just this blow-up doll that he's just trying to masturbate off of.''
When asked by Deputy District Attorney Marlene Martinez to describe Weinstein's physique, Siebel Newsom said: ''Lots of bruises, markings, yellow and green, lots of stretch marks on his belly, very not physically fit at all. Looked uncircumcised and strange though, kind of fish-like, the penis, something was distorted in the testicles '... Lots of skin, lots of skin down there.''
Siebel Newsom, a former actress, is the fourth woman to take the stand who has accused Weinstein of sexual assault in his trial at Los Angeles Superior Court.
Weinstein '-- who is already serving a 23-year sentence for rape and sexual assault in New York '-- is facing charges for allegedly sexually assaulting four women in Los Angeles between 2004 and 2013.
Jennifer Siebel Newsom testified on Monday at Harvey Weinstein's rape trial in Los Angeles. APSiebel Newsom, 48, said she agreed to meet Weinstein at his hotel suite to discuss a film project, and because ''he could make or ruin your career.''
Once they were alone in the room, however, Siebel Newsom said, Weinstein changed out of his suit into a robe, then started to ''manipulate'' and ''threaten'' her, while mentioning several actresses' names.
She said Weinstein penetrated her private parts with his fingers and then his ''deformed'' penis.
Siebel Newsom tearfully said: ''He knows this is not normal. He knows this is not consent,'' adding at first Weinstein couldn't get an erection.
Former film producer Harvey Weinstein appears in court at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center on October 4, 2022, in Los Angeles, California. Getty Images''And then he puts part of his penis inside of me because he pushes me back against the bed,'' she said. ''It's not staying in because his penis is so weird and messed up. He realizes this. I was just worried I was going to get some disease. It was so gross.''
Siebel Newsom said she was frozen in fear but put her hand on Weinstein's penis to ''try to make him stop.''
''Oh, I just made some noises to get him to ejaculate faster,'' Siebel Newsom said. ''Just like pleasure noises.''
After Weinstein ejaculated, Siebel Newsom said, she was speechless. ''I just wanted to get the f'-- out of there,'' she said in tears. ''Pardon my language.''
When asked by Martinez why she continued to correspond via email with Weinstein even after the alleged rape, Siebel Newsom said she felt what happened was a ''one-off thing'' and that Weinstein had gotten married.
''I tried to put what happened into a box, even though it came out at times,'' she said. ''And my sadness and my fear changed at times into anger.''
Siebel Newsom was also asked about an email she sent to Weinstein in 2007 in which she sought his advice when Newsom was mayor of San Francisco. In a prior ruling, Judge Lisa Lench granted prosecutors permission to use the email, which mentioned an affair Newsom had in 2005 with an aide.
''I believed that Harvey Weinstein had relationships with the press and understood how to handle the press, and thought he could be helpful,'' Siebel Newsom said when asked about the email on Monday.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks after winning his second term in office, in Sacramento, Calif., Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. APDuring a 15-minute cross-examination, defense attorney Mark Werksman hammered Siebel Newsom about a $500 campaign contribution Weinstein made to her husband's campaign.
Siebel Newsom said her husband's staff had asked for the donation at her suggestion but that the money was returned after the MeToo movement.
''When did you tell Gavin Newsom about his allegation of sexual assault,'' Werksman asked.
''I told him that Harvey was sketchy at different times, and he picked up on it himself when he met him,'' she replied.
During his opening statement, Werksman made a dig at Siebel Newsom, saying: ''Today she is the wife of Gov. Newsom. She's the first partner of California '... She's made herself a prominent victim in the MeToo movement '... otherwise she'd be just another bimbo who slept with Harvey Weinstein to get ahead in Hollywood.''
Siebel Newsom will continue her testimony on Tuesday.
Ford Motor Company boss warns EV cars require 40% fewer workers
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 18:11
Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F)'s chief executive has estimated that manufacturing electric vehicles (EVs) will require 40% fewer workers than building gasoline-powered cars and trucks.
As a result, the car maker will need to produce more parts in-house so ''everyone has a role'' in the transition, Jim Farley said.
He warned of ''thunderclouds'' in the next phase of the EV transition, with Ford having a goal of achieving half of global sales from EVs by 2030.
''It takes 40% less labour to make an electric car, so ... we need to insource so everyone has a part to play in that growth,'' Farley said at a conference in Detroit focused on improving racial diversity in the auto industry.
''We need to embrace a whole new supply chain, in batteries, motors and electronics, and diversity needs to play an even bigger role in that,'' Farley commented.
It is widely expected that the transition to EVs will reduce jobs in the auto industry as they are assembled from fewer parts compared to internal combustion engine cars.
Farley has been saying since July that Ford has ''too many people''.
In August, 3,000 employees and contract workers were cut, with executives describing the company's cost structure as ''uncompetitive'' compared to other automakers.
Ford had 183,000 employees at the end of 2021.
Scientists create vaccine for FENTANYL - the frighteningly potent opioid killing 200 Americans | Daily Mail Online
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 18:11
A new vaccine may be able to totally block the effects of fentanyl '-- potentially saving thousands of Americans from overdoses each year.
Researchers at the University of Houston, in Texas, developed a shot that was able to stop the extremely potent drug from entering the brains of rats.
Fentanyl binds to opioid receptors in areas of the brain that control pain and emotions. During an overdose, the brain is starved of oxygen, which kills off neurons.
The shot was able to block the drug from entering the brain without affecting other painkillers like morphine, meaning a vaccinated person could still be treated with other drugs if needed.
The vaccine works by stimulating T-cells in the immune system to create antibodies which bind to fentanyl in the bloodstream.
These immune proteins catch the drug as it enters the body and prevent it from spreading further and causing harm. It then gets processed in the kidney and flushed from the body.
Researchers told DailyMail.com the vaccine could be used by people suffering from opioid use disorder or college students who experiment with illicit substances.
Fentanyl was developed as a painkiller to be used in hospitals but its cheap manufacturing costs and high potency has made it a favorable cutting agent for drug dealers.
Meth, cocaine and street Xanax are just some of the drugs that are being laced with fentanyl. Just 2milligrams '-- the equivalent of five grains of salt '-- of fentanyl is enough to cause an overdose.
America is currently in the midst of a fentanyl epidemic, with around 200 Americans dying from the synthetic opioid every day. To put that in context, Covid is currently responsible for around 290 deaths per day, according to most recent official data.
Researchers developed a three-shot vaccine that leads to the formation of fentanyl antibodies in a person's bloodstream. These antibodies can prevent the drug from reaching the brain and totally negate it. This, in turn, stops overdoses
Fentanyl has overrun some American communities, and was responsible for 71,000 drug overdose deaths in 2021. Pictured: A homeless man in Seattle, Washington, smokes fentanyl
How does the fentanyl vaccine work?Researchers at the University of Houston developed a fentanyl vaccine that blocked the drug from reaching the brains of rats.
It is a three dose vaccine with each shot given three weeks after the previous.
The shot trains T-cells in the body's immune system to generate antibodies capable of fighting fentanyl.
Dr Colin Haile, who led the research, speculates that the body already does create antibodies capable of fighting fentanyl, though not enough to prevent these overdoses.
When the body detects fentanyl in the blood stream, these antibodies will bind to it and prevent the drug from getting to the brain.
As a result, the effects of fentanyl as a painkiller, and its side effects of euphoria and sedation, are prevented.
Instead, the drug is sent to the kidney where it it processed by the organ and removed from the body.
Researchers hope to launch human clinical trials for the drug next year.
Houston researchers hope their vaccine could severely tide the nation's drug overdose crises and save the lives of thousands.
They are aiming to begin phase 1 human trials for the vaccine next year.
'When you get a vaccine, we're usually vaccinating people against [viruses], but here we are vaccinated a person against a chemical,' Dr Colin Haile, lead researchers and professor at the University of Houston, told DailyMail.com.
Dr Haile notes the body creates antibodies to drugs like fentanyl on its own - though not enough to totally negate it.
Published last month in the journal Pharmaceuticals, researchers tested their vaccine in 60 rats, 28 of which were given the shots.
The rats were vaccinated with three doses - one every three weeks - before being exposed to fentanyl.
Dr Haile explained that the vaccine worked by targeting a molecule that serves as the backbone of the opioid.
The shot uses a fentanyl conjugate - an altered form of the drug's molecule - as its base.
It then trains the body to generate antibodies capable of fighting off molecules that make up the drug.
'When an individual gets the vaccine, they get antibodies against fentanyl,' he said.
'The antibodies will bind to the drug and keep it from getting to the brain. If you prevent fentanyl from entering the brain you prevent it from producing euphoric effects and effects that lead to overdose deaths.'
The vaccine uses an adjuvants - an ingredient used in some vaccines that helps create a stronger immune response.
They target specific components of the body's immune response, so that protection against disease is stronger and lasts longer.
They slow the spread of foreign invaders in the body by reducing the rate at which they proliferate in the blood stream.
This vaccines uses dmLT as an adjuvant. The substance boosts the amount of mucous secreted by the immune system.
The above graph shows the CDC estimates for the number of deaths triggered by drug overdoses every year across the United States. It reveals figures have now reached a record high, and are surging on the last three years
Opioids including fentanyl (black line) were behind almost three in five fatalities from a drug overdose, CDC figures showed. The black opioids line includes deaths from synthetic opioids (brown) natural and semi-synthetic opioids (green), heroin (blue), and methadone (purple)
Drug overdose deaths in America are largely concentrated in the Appalachian region
What is fentanyl and why is it so dangerous?Fentanyl was originally developed in Belgium in the 1950s to aid cancer patients with their pain management.
Given its extreme potency it has become popular amongst recreational drug users.
Overdose deaths linked to synthetic opioids like fentanyl jumped from nearly 10,000 in 2015 to nearly 20,000 in 2016 - surpassing common opioid painkillers and heroin for the first time.
And drug overdoses killed more than 72,000 people in the US in 2017 '' a record driven by fentanyl.
It is often added to heroin because it creates the same high as the drug, with the effects biologically identical. But it can be up to 50 times more potent than heroin, according to officials in the US.
In the US, fentanyl is classified as a schedule II drug - indicating it has some medical use but it has a strong potential to be abused and can create psychological and physical dependence.
The Houston researchers took blood samples from the rodents who were vaccinated to determine their antibody levels after each shot.
They found a significant jump in antibody levels between weeks four and six, and then consistent protection from the fourth week until the tenth and final week of the study.
'If you prevent fentanyl from entering the brain you prevent it from producing euphoric effects and effects that lead to overdose deaths.'
Fentanyl binds to receptors in the brain, causing a feeling of numbness, euphoria and sedation.
Over time it diminishes the receptors sensitivity, eventually leading to the opioids being the only way a person can reach those feelings. This leads to addiction.
When a person overdoses their breathing may stop, depriving the brain and other parts of the body oxygen. As a result, a person will suffer severe brain injury.
This can often be deadly. Even survivors will often have permanent brain damage.
Naxolone, sold under the brand name Narcan, is the most effective tool doctors and first responders have against an overdose.
The fast-acting nasal spray quickly clears up the opioid receptors on a person's brain and undoes the effects of the drug.
It can only be used in the time immediately after an overdose, though. This vaccine can prevent the overdose all together.
Scientists used experiments to gauge how the rats would react to pain to whether the fentanyl had been negated in their blood stream.
Opioids like fentanyl work by creating a feeling called analgesia - the inability to feel pain.
Each of the mice in both study groups were given doses of fentanyl - 0.05 milligrams for every kilogram of their weight (mg/kg or a smaller 0.1mg/kg dose.
If the vaccine is effective, then the pain-negating effects of fentanyl would not be present in rats who received the shots.
Researchers conducted two tests - one which involves applying heat to the rats' tails to see if they reacted. The method is known as a the tail-flick test, and if the animal removes their tail from the heat, it indicates they can feel pain.
A second experiment saw the rats placed on a heating plate as it was warmed up. If a rodent lifted its legs off of the plate, then they judged to be in pain.
In both tests, the unvaccinated rats did not react to the pain, signaling the fentanyl had a numbing effect on the receptors in their brains.
Vaccinated rats reacted as expected to the pain stimulus, though, showing the painkiller was cancelled out.
Tests on brain samples also revealed that no traces of the drug.
'It's as if they never got fentanyl at all. Complete blockade,' Dr Haile said.
When further tests were run using other painkillers like morphine and oxycodone, the vaccinated rats showed signs of pani.
'The anti-fentanyl antibodies were specific to fentanyl and a fentanyl derivative and did not cross-react with other opioids, such as morphine,' Dr Haile explained.
That means a vaccinated person would still be able to be treated for pain relief with other opioids.
Dr Haile's team have high hopes for the vaccine, if it proves to be successful.
He said it could be used for people addicted to illicit drugs who run the risk of accidentally using fentanyl.
Dr Haile used the example of a parent forcing their child to get vaccinated before going off to college to protect them in case they 'experiment'.
Some notable cases of fentanyl overdose include rapper Mac Miller, who died of an overdose in 2018, and pop singer Prince, who died in 2016.
Illicit versions of the drug are largely sourced from Mexico via China, with experts pointing out that the southern border crisis is the main way they are trafficked into America.
We Were Right: WaPo Quietly Admits the Truth About Trump's Documents After the Election
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 18:11
Commentary By C. Douglas Golden November 16, 2022 at 7:30am Now, here's a surprise.
One week after the midterms, The Washington Post quietly reported that, well, remember those classified documents former President Donald Trump allegedly took to his home in the Mar-a-Lago Club, the ones that prompted the FBI to raid his home? Yeah, he wasn't doing anything ''nefarious'' with them.
No nuke-selling to the Saudis, apparently! How about that? Huh. Well, carry on, WaPo readers! Thanks for voting Democrat!
In the Monday report, the Post noted that investigators ''believe former president Donald Trump's motive for allegedly taking and keeping classified documents was largely his ego and a desire to hold on to the materials as trophies or mementos.''
''As part of the investigation, federal authorities reviewed the classified documents that were recovered from Trump's Mar-a-Lago home and private club, looking to see if the types of information contained in them pointed to any kind of pattern or similarities, according to these people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.
''That review has not found any apparent business advantage to the types of classified information in Trump's possession, these people said. FBI interviews with witnesses so far, they said, also do not point to any nefarious effort by Trump to leverage, sell or use the government secrets,'' the piece continued.
''Instead, the former president seemed motivated by a more basic desire not to give up what he believed was his property, these people said.''
Exclusive: Federal agents believe former president Donald Trump's motive for allegedly keeping classified documents was largely his ego and a desire to hold on to the materials as trophies or mementos, according to people familiar with the matter. https://t.co/HQNtRMChJ3
'-- The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) November 14, 2022
Do you think this is just another witch hunt on Trump?
Yes: 99% (3823 Votes)
No: 1% (26 Votes)
The paper's sources ''cautioned that the investigation is ongoing, that no final determinations have been made, and that it is possible additional information could emerge that changes investigators' understanding of Trump's motivations.''
''But they said the evidence collected over a period of months indicates the primary explanation for potentially criminal conduct was Trump's ego and intransigence.''
Imagine that.
(As an aside, how often does The Washington Post call attention to ''ego and intransigence'' in a Democrat? Maybe Barack Obama, for instance?)
Remember, on Aug. 11, the Post reported that ''[c]lassified documents relating to nuclear weapons were among the items FBI agents sought in a search of former president Donald Trump's Florida residence.''
''Material about nuclear weapons is especially sensitive and usually restricted to a small number of government officials, experts said. Publicizing details about U.S. weapons could provide an intelligence road map to adversaries seeking to build ways of countering those systems. And other countries might view exposing their nuclear secrets as a threat, experts said.''
Perhaps the sensitive nuclear documents were indeed among Trump's possessions, but one was expected to draw sinister inferences from the Post's reports about the material. Was he selling secrets to [insert country we don't like right now here]? We don't know!
Until, of course, one week after the midterms, when the WaPo quietly reports that investigators think Trump took the documents out of ego and that he thought they were his.
Again: Whoops! Sorry about that.
Suffice it to say, many Twitter users weren't impressed by the backfilling:
So he wasn't trying to sell nuclear secrets to Saudi? He kept docs because he can't keep his ego in check. Another big nothing burger. Sure got the blue wave emoji crowd excited.
'-- Keebler (@keebler45) November 15, 2022
That applies to Obama, Bush, Clinton '...etc
'-- No Party Affiliation🇺🇸Gator!🐊 (@BOLG8TR) November 15, 2022
Aaaaaaand that's a wrap. No charges. He runs for 2024.
'-- Just another manic mother (@KylieInCali84) November 14, 2022
However, this response probably summed it up best:
pic.twitter.com/4SuCDIlzNs
'-- Skeptical Stoic (@StoicSkeptical) November 15, 2022
Remember the Steele dossier? The Mueller report? The first impeachment? The second impeachment? The Jan. 6 committee? The Manhattan District Attorney's Office investigation of the Trump Organization?
If we were being well-informed by the establishment media during this whole process, this guy should be in Leavenworth for the rest of his days '-- if not on a scaffold, awaiting the hangman's noose for treason.
And what was Trump doing one day after this article was published? Announcing his 2024 presidential campaign.
It's not to say charges won't be brought. But how many times have we been told Trump was cornered?
It's like an episode of ''The Dukes of Hazzard'' playing on a loop: The Duke boys ain't never gonna get their way out of this one! Until, of course, they jump the General Lee right over Boss Hogg's Cadillac and 11 police cars, then high-tail it out of Hazzard County to live another day.
After raising the specter of Trump having a cache of nuclear documents for nefarious purposes, the Post is now reporting the case is mostly one of ''ego'' and the documents are without ''any apparent business advantage'' to the former president. And just a few days after the midterms.
Nice work. How, again, do these people expect to be taken seriously?
SummaryMore Biographical Information Recent Posts ContactC. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Birthplace
Morristown, New Jersey
Education
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture
Peter Fitzgerald has an old-fashioned approach to banking - May. 13, 2009
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 18:11
(Fortune Magazine) -- When Peter Fitzgerald was in the U.S. Senate, he refused to vote on any bill that was banking-related. He wouldn't even take part in the debate.
It's not that he wasn't well versed in the subject of finance. In fact, Fitzgerald was practically born into banking - his extended family has managed or founded some 57 community banks since the 1940s. And before running for the Senate as a Republican in 1998 (he defeated Democratic incumbent Carol Moseley Braun), Fitzgerald had been everything from a teller in his college days to a bank attorney and bank general counsel in the 1990s.
Fitzgerald's family was so immersed in the banking world - his three brothers own seven small banks among them - that he felt he had to recuse himself from all banking matters that came before the Senate. (Fitzgerald himself has a net worth of at least $79 million and bank stock holdings in excess of $25 million, according to his last Senate financial-disclosure form.)
"I even recused myself from Alan Greenspan's reconfirmation vote as Federal Reserve chairman," Fitzgerald says. "Greenspan wanted to know why I was the only one who wouldn't vote for him."
In hindsight, it's a shame that Fitzgerald stayed on the sidelines as the nation's banks engaged in high-risk behavior. He claims that if he had immersed himself in banking matters, his political enemies would have accused him of pursuing policies that benefited his family.
But after Fitzgerald left the Senate in 2004, he set out to launch a bank that would be a showcase for the fiscally conservative principles he had learned as a boy. In August 2007, with the mortgage meltdown already underway, he and a handful of investors launched Chain Bridge Bank, a single-branch operation in the tony Washington suburb of McLean, Va. Fitzgerald put $4 million of his own money - as well as another $4.5 million of his family's - into the bank, whose startup costs were $18.5 million.
One of Chain Bridge's hallmarks is Fitzgerald's refusal to allocate more than 55% of his deposits to loans. (The U.S. average is 97%, according to FDIC data.) Because of the credit crisis, many banks, including a few of the majors, are coming around to Fitzgerald's way of thinking about liquidity. Peruse the first-quarter earnings releases that have gone out in the past couple of weeks, and you'll see that banks are now touting declines in their loan-to-deposit ratios.
Fitzgerald's contrarian approach to banking is in step with his politics. He was the only senator to vote against the post-9/11 airline bailout, and he's best known for nominating Patrick Fitzgerald as U.S. attorney for Chicago. Patrick Fitzgerald (no relation) would later become the bane of his fellow Republicans.
Launching a bank in this economy may sound insane, but star bank analyst Meredith Whitney has been saying since last year that the timing couldn't be better. First, a new bank starts out with a nontoxic balance sheet. Second, its earnings are juiced by a steep yield curve that allows for a healthy spread between the interest the new bank is paying depositors and the rate it's earning on its loans. And best of all, it is competing with established banks that don't want to lend - they're focused more on plugging leaks in their balance sheets than on making new loans.
Some banks are so desperate to pare loans from their books that they're stiff-arming their best customers in hopes that they'll refinance with another bank, thereby removing loans from their balance sheets. That's essentially what happened to Michael Oxley, a former U.S. representative from Ohio, when he tried to refinance the mortgage on his vacation home last year. "They weren't the least bit interested in new real estate lending," Oxley says of his old bank. "Chain Bridge was all over it."
***
Gerald Fitzgerald, Peter's father, always emphasized to Peter and his brothers that it wasn't safe for a bank to allocate more than half its deposits to loans. Gerald was chairman of Chicago's Suburban Bancorp - where Peter was general counsel - before Gerald sold Suburban to Bank of Montreal in 1994 for $246 million.
"The reason is that loans are illiquid," says Peter. "If you go into a recession - and this is my family's 10th recession in banking - you can't sell a loan, even a performing one, in order to raise cash. A government bond, on the other hand, is liquid."
In the 1960s that point of view was the conventional wisdom. Between 1960 and 1980, however, the loan-to-deposit ratio for U.S. banks rose from 51% to 85%, according to FDIC data. It crossed 100% in 1997, and by 2007 the loan-to-deposit ratio for U.S. banks had hit 113%, which meant that banks were borrowing money to make new loans.
By the time Fitzgerald started recruiting for Chain Bridge in 2007, the consensus about loan-to-deposit ratios had changed so radically that most of the folks Fitzgerald interviewed thought he was nuts. "All the loan officers I was talking to told me, 'Oh, no, you'll get a higher yield on loans than if you just buy bonds. The name of the game is, How many loans can you put on the books?'" says Fitzgerald. "Well, those bankers weren't in the business in the early '90s, and they certainly weren't around in the early '80s. They were behaving as though we'd never have another recession."
Most banks are so illiquid right now that they have to borrow money to meet withdrawals, he says: "You can see right there why we've had the credit crunch."
At the end of last year Chain Bridge actually had less than a third of its deposits allocated to loans. Fitzgerald felt there was better value in Treasury bonds, high-grade corporate bonds, and taxable municipal bonds than in loans, and the strategy seems to be paying off. Chain Bridge's initial business plan assumed that it would take three years for the bank to turn a profit, but Fitzgerald says he's "cautiously optimistic" that it will do so in 2009 and open a second branch in 2010.
According to FDIC data, Chain Bridge's net interest income - which is basically the difference between what it's paying depositors and what it's earning on loans and investments - was $2.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2008, up from $356,000 during the same period in 2007. Total assets rose from $55 million to $127 million.
***
While Chain Bridge is off to a good start, Fitzgerald believes his bank would be even further along had the FDIC and his former colleagues in Congress not essentially suspended the free market for banking last fall. He was particularly irritated by the decision to temporarily raise the limit on FDIC deposit insurance from $100,000 to $250,000 and to extend the FDIC guarantee to non-interest-bearing accounts.
Before those FDIC moves, Chain Bridge was experiencing its strongest deposit growth: Deposits doubled, from $62 million to $123 million, between June and September 2008 as depositors fled weaker banks. "The reason we got into this situation is in part that people didn't care what their bank's balance sheet looked like because their accounts were FDIC-insured," says Fitzgerald.
By not allowing more bad banks to fail, and more good banks to gain market share, Fitzgerald believes the government is creating a banking system that ensures the survival of the not-so-fit at the expense of the fit. "They've only closed about 50 banks," Fitzgerald says of federal banking regulators. "During the S&L crisis of the '80s and '90s, we closed about 1,300 banks. By removing that excess capacity in the industry and by removing the zombie banks in the '80s and early '90s, they made the banking system healthier for those banks that withstood the early-1990s recession."
"Look at Northern Trust," Fitzgerald continues, referring to the Chicago bank that has weathered the current credit crunch about as well as any depository institution. "In 1929, Northern Trust had $50 million in deposits. By 1933 or 1934 it was a $250 million bank. During the Great Depression it thrived while other banks were being closed, because it had a strong balance sheet. It actually ran ads in the Chicago Tribune showing that its assets were in government bonds, not loans."
Because of the higher limits on FDIC insurance, depositors now have even less incentive to police their banks. The FDIC has compounded the problem, Fitzgerald says, by hiking fees in ways that hurt small banks - which rely more heavily on FDIC-insured deposits for funding - more than the large banks that caused the credit crisis.
"Why are you putting the burden of paying for the FDIC on the community banks that are funded the old-fashioned way, by core deposits?" Fitzgerald says. "The burden for funding the FDIC should be put on the banks that operate with riskier wholesale funding - the Citigroups of the world. If you're too big to fail, maybe you need to have higher capital requirements. Maybe you need to pay higher risk premiums on FDIC deposit insurance. Maybe what you pay [for FDIC insurance] should be based on your total assets instead of on your deposits."
FDIC chief Sheila Bair counters that making weak banks pay to replenish the deposit insurance fund isn't feasible. "In any insurance system premiums paid by healthier members are supposed to help cover the losses of weaker members," Bair said at a meeting of the Independent Community Bankers Association in March.
***
Fitzgerald lays some of the blame for what he sees as the wrongheaded response to the banking crisis at the feet of Barack Obama, the man who succeeded him in the Senate. "I served with Barack in the [Illinois] state senate in Springfield," says Fitzgerald, who was a vocal supporter of John McCain during the presidential campaign. "I chaired the government operations committee when Barack was the ranking Democrat. It was very clear to me that he was a very bright and hard-working and talented individual. However, his sweet spot is constitutional law. It's not the economy."
The dig is not sour grapes. Fitzgerald was never cut out to be a lion of the Senate. He chose not to seek reelection in 2004 for the seat Obama eventually won. Fitzgerald claims it was family concerns that kept him from seeking reelection. Between his weekday work in Washington, where his family lives, and his weekend trips back to Illinois to press the flesh with constituents, he says, "I never saw my wife or son." His 16-year-old son, Jake, is a now a pitcher on the baseball team at Washington's prestigious St. Albans School. Fitzgerald says that when Jake was in Little League, he was rarely able to make it to his games.
He also had a hard time with the horse-trading that is part of being a legislator. Indeed, Fitzgerald's most important legacy as a senator is the aforementioned nomination of Patrick Fitzgerald as U.S. attorney for Chicago. Patrick Fitzgerald would subsequently help bring down the Republican Illinois governor, George Ryan, on corruption charges and also cause countless headaches for the Bush administration after being named special prosecutor in the Valerie Plame CIA leak case. (Of course, Patrick Fitzgerald's latest target is a Democrat: Rod Blagojevich, the former Illinois governor, who was indicted on corruption charges in April.)
Presidents customarily defer to senators in their party with regard to nominations of U.S. attorneys. And as the lone Republican senator from Illinois, that responsibility fell to Fitzgerald in 2001. Worried about corruption in state politics, Fitzgerald took the highly unusual step of seeking a U.S. attorney from outside Illinois. "I wanted somebody who was not under the thumb of the powers that be in Chicago," says Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald asked FBI director Louis Freeh for a recommendation, and it was Freeh who suggested Patrick Fitzgerald, a no-nonsense terrorism prosecutor in Manhattan's U.S. Attorney's Office. When word got out, Fitzgerald says, Bush's White House chief of staff Karl Rove told him he had to select someone from Chicago - a directive Fitzgerald obviously ignored. But the press reacted so favorably, Fitzgerald says, "the White House was just inclined to go along."
Fitzgerald also alleges that the Speaker of the House at that time, Dennis Hastert - a Republican from Illinois - at first asked the White House to let him make the nomination instead of Fitzgerald. Hastert was close to Gov. Ryan - who is today serving a 6½-year sentence for corruption - and Fitzgerald believes that Hastert wanted to install a U.S. attorney who "would put a kibosh on the Ryan investigation." Hastert denies Fitzgerald's claims. Rove declined to comment.
Today the banker-turned-senator-turned-banker thinks the major problem with the Obama administration's approach to the recession is the misguided belief that stimulating the economy and fixing the banking system are compatible goals. "They're not," says Fitzgerald, who contends that banks need to be making fewer loans, not more.
Fitzgerald is particularly critical of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for not requiring banks to keep some share of their deposits and assets in liquid investments. "The OCC will not get after them," says Fitzgerald. "That's because the OCC wants the banks to support President Obama's stimulus program and lend as much as possible."
OCC deputy comptroller Timothy Long counters that the regulator does take liquidity risk seriously. "Liquidity risk has always been a significant focus of OCC supervision," says Long. But while the OCC closely monitors bank liquidity, ultimately "the responsibility to manage this process lies with management and the board of the individual bank."
If you're Peter Fitzgerald, that goes without saying.
Did the GOP's Favorite Bank Conspire with the Trump Campaign to Help it Evade Contribution Limits? - Washington Babylon
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 18:10
''Federal regulators are probing financial reporting discrepancies stemming from an effort to funnel $75 million through state Republican parties to the national GOP effort to reelect Donald Trump,'' Axios reported last week.
The article focused on actions taken by the Trump Victory Committee '-- a joint fundraising committee for the Trump presidential campaign, the Republican National Committee, and various state Republican committees. It appears that Trump Victory routed large sums of money to state GOP committees, which in turn reported sending identical amounts of money to the RNC.
The transfers appear to be an attempt to evade individual contribution limits to the RNC, which is allowed to take in $36,500 per donor per two-year election cycle. However, let's say the Trump Victory Committee transferred, in a hypothetical example, $10,000 from one individual donor to 10 state committees which then sent the money on to the RNC. Voila, that individual just became a $100,000 donor to the RNC, or about 3 times more than is legally allowed.
Even that would be legal '-- like just about every obviously sleazy dark money transfer in U.S. politics '-- if the money had really gone to the state committee bank accounts before being sent to the RNC. However, based on Axios's reporting, and campaign finance documents I've reviewed, it looks like Trump Victory may have skipped the step of having the state Republican parties actually control the money even for a minute '' or to bother to inform them that bank accounts had been set up in their name. (That's why Axios ran the story under the headline, ''Scoop: Trump campaign boosted by unsuspecting state GOPs.'')
Indeed, it appears that Trump Victory told the state committees about the transfers after the fact, and only to allow them to belatedly disclose the transfers. Last time I checked, taking money out of someone else's bank account without their permission was a crime.
''The Federal Election Commission (FEC) asked the Republican Party of New Mexico last month to explain why it initially failed to report more than $550,000 in payments in September from Trump Victory and to the RNC,'' Axios reported. ''The state party replied it wasn't until about six weeks after the fact that 'information was received' regarding those transfers.''
Which leads to privately held Chain Bridge Bank, a financial institution founded in 2007 by a retired Illinois senator, Peter Fitzgerald, which has long specialized in discreetly transferring campaign money, mostly but not exclusively, to GOP entities and candidates. Chain Bridge Bank's one branch is located in McLean, Virginia, not far from the CIA, though that's probably just a coincidence. For more about Chain Bridge, check out this 2011 article, ''One Bank's Business Built on GOP Cash,'' or this one from 2015, ''Where Candidates Stash Their Cash; Republican presidential candidates love to park their campaign money at a Virginia bank with one branch.''
Another story, published by Independent Banker in 2016, reported that the presidential campaigns of Trump, Jeb Bush and Rand Paul all had accounts with Chain Bridge Bank, as did Super PACs representing Bush, Ben Carson and other candidates, not to mention various House, Senate and gubernatorial campaigns and committees. ''More than just a safe place to stash the millions raised and quickly spent by political campaigns, Chain Bridge Bank understands the needs of high-speed, high-pressure political operations and has a special unit catering to those accounts,'' the story said.
Trump Victory had an account at Chain Bridge Bank. So did the RNC and so did several (if not all) of the state Republican parties involved in the transfers. If Chain Bridge Bank were complicit in this '' which seems highly likely '' the Comptroller of the Currency could revoke its charter, which means a key bank for the Republican Party could get the death penalty.
New Mexico wasn't the only state GOP party to make transfers to the RNC without its knowledge. On April 11, the FEC wrote the Illinois Republican Party to say, ''Your amended report discloses an increase in receipts totaling $90,215.23 and an increase in disbursements totaling $90,215.23 from the amounts disclosed on your original report. Please amend your report or provide clarifying information as to why this activity was not disclosed on your original report.'' The FEC gave the Illinois state party until May 17 to reply.
On April 13, the FEC sent a similar letter to the North Dakota GOP state party, asking it to explain previously undisclosed identical receipts and disbursements totaling $44,355.79. The following day the FEC wrote the Rhode Island GOP a letter asking about previously unreported transfers to the RNC of $251,771.78.
All told, between 3 cases identified by Axios and 3 identified here, the FEC has inquired about unreported receipts and disbursements of more than $3 million. Hawaii, with unreported transfers of about $1.7 million, led the pack.
Incidentally, all of these shady moves can be traced back to 2014, when the Supreme Court eliminated ''some obscure but important campaign contribution limits'' in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, as Politico reported here. The article is headlined, ''Soft Money Is Back '-- And Both Parties Are Cashing In; Critics deride the practice as 'legalized money laundering'.''
Writing in dissent in the McCutcheon decision, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer said the ruling ''creates a loophole that will allow a single individual to contribute millions of dollars to a political party or to a candidate's campaign,'' adding that it ''eviscerates our Nation's campaign finance laws.''
Sure enough, the Trump Victory Committee as well as the tragically misnamed Hillary Victory Fund both ruthlessly exploited the loophole during the 2016 campaign.
Will the FEC or the Comptroller do anything about this apparent breach of campaign finance law and potential wrongdoing by Chain Bridge Bank? Hey, this is Washington, so everyone involved will probably skate.
5.4 magnitude earthquake hits West Texas, with reports of shaking all the way in Austin | KUT Radio, Austin's NPR Station
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 18:09
Published November 16, 2022 at 5:24 PM CST
An unusually large earthquake '-- for Texas '-- struck western parts of the state around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. Staff at Texas Public Radio reported light shaking in San Antonio, and the U.S. Geological Survey said it has received reports of shaking in Austin.
The magnitude 5.4 quake appears to be one of the largest in Texas history, according to Jonathan Tytell, a geophysicist with the USGS. "This was a big event," Tytell said.
The largest known earthquake to ever hit the state was a 6.0 magnitude quake in the town of Valentine, near Marfa, in 1931.
The epicenter of Wednesday's earthquake was not far from the New Mexico border '-- about 35 miles northwest of the town of Pecos. The epicenter was close to the same area where a 5.0 earthquake hit in March 2020, Tytell said.
He said the earthquake was likely caused by oil and gas industry activity in the area.
Marfa Public Radio's Travis Bubenik said he noticed his monitor shaking around 3:30. He noted this part of the West Texas oilfield has a history of earthquakes, "but this one is an unusually big one!"
KUT's Mose Buchele reported in 2019 that earthquake activity in the state has "skyrocketed" in recent years because of increased oil and gas activity.
Did you feel the earthquake? The USGS asks that you fill out this online survey to let it know. As of around 5:15 p.m. Wednesday, 1,040 people had submitted reports.
The world's population has reached 8bn. Don't panic | The Economist
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 18:09
S omething about global population trends seems to send otherwise sensible people over the edge. According to the United Nations, the planet's population is due to reach 8bn on November 15th. Alarm bells are clanging. Population pessimists have long predicted mass famine. Now they add prophecies of environmental disaster as a result of too many people. Others worry about the opposite problem: ''population collapse due to low birth rates'', tweeted Elon Musk, the self-proclaimed ''chief Twit'', ''is a much bigger risk to civilisation than global warming.'' In fact, looking at population change during the past decade suggests neither of these mutually contradictory divinations of doom will prove correct.
It took a dozen years (from 1998 to 2010) for the global population to grow from 6bn to 7bn. It has taken the same length of time to notch up the next billion. Against the backdrop of catastrophising, it is worth recalling what is behind this growth: longer lives, improvements in nutrition and public health; falls in infant mortality, disease and maternal deaths in childbirth. The world's population carried on growing even in the teeth of the covid-19 pandemic, despite the virus killing'--according to The Economist's best estimates'--between 16m and 28m people. That would represent as much as a fifth of all deaths over the period.
Not much evidence, then, of a global demographic collapse. Nor is one coming soon. On current trends, the global population will reach 9bn in 2037 and peak at 10.4bn sometime between 2080 and 2100.
The spectre of overpopulation looks equally unthreatening. Even though the extra-billion milestones are passing with the same regularity, the global population growth rate is falling fast. In 1963 total population rose by 2.3%. In 2022 it grew by just 0.8%, the lowest rate since the 1950s.
How can growth be falling while the population rises steadily? The answer is that inertia and momentum matter hugely. The 1990s and 2000s were both decades of relatively fast population growth. The children born then are now reaching their child-bearing years. The number of adults aged between 18 and 49 was 2.2bn in 1987. It is 3.6bn now. But this bumper crop of potential parents seems to be choosing to have smaller families. The total fertility rate, which measures how many children a woman can expect to have in her lifetime, has plunged from 3.3 in 1990 to 2.3 now, only slightly above the ''replacement rate'''--at which the population stays constant'--of about 2.1. Though the population continues to rise, the increase hardly seems uncontrolled.
As ever, the global average disguises big regional differences. About half the world's projected population growth between 2022 and 2050 will occur in just eight countries. Five of those are in Africa (Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Tanzania). The other three are in Asia (India, Pakistan and the Philippines). India will probably overtake China as the world's most populous country next year. Africa overtook the combined populations of Europe and North America this year (in 1980 it had just one-third of their total). That will have both environmental and social implications.
Start with the environmental consequences. People in India and Africa pollute far less than their counterparts in America, Europe or China. According to the UN, poor and lower-middle-income countries account for only a seventh of the world's emissions of carbon dioxide. But 90% of population growth over the next decade will come from these less-polluting countries. Population growth can sometimes make environmental pressures worse: think of drought-stricken Somalia. But globally, there is little evidence that population growth, in and of itself, contributes as much to global warming as rising living standards do.
A similar point can be made about ageing societies. Two-thirds of the world's people live in countries where the population is flattening or falling and where the total fertility rate is below the replacement level. In 61 mostly rich countries, the UN reckons populations will fall by 1% or more between now and 2050. Shrinking societies certainly face social problems: one big one is that there are proportionately fewer people of working age to provide for those who have retired, implying higher taxes or lower spending on the elderly.
Whether this constitutes a threat to civilisation is not so clear. On pessimistic estimates, a rich country such as Germany could have roughly the same population in 2100 as it had in 1950 (and that assumes its very low fertility does not change). That would be a big change from today, but it is not clear that it would be catastrophic. Over the next eight decades rising productivity could well mean that fewer workers are needed to support a given number of retired people, in the same way that fewer are needed to grow crops or pour steel than would have been 80 years ago, in 1942.
None of this is to deny that the world faces big problems of environmental degradation and political upheaval. But the 8bn mark does not portend demographic disaster. Instead, Earth's population growth seems to be having something of a Goldilocks moment: neither too hot nor too cold. '–
World's first electric lithium mine: Birth of an American supply chain
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 18:09
As the world rushes toward "the greatest disconnect between supply and demand in the history of commodities," Snow Lake Lithium CEO Philip Gross talks us through his company's plans to open the world's first all-electric lithium mine in Canada.
Now that we're starting to see the chaotic and destructive early effects of climate change begin to wreak havoc the world over, the world seems to have finally reached a consensus that we need to decarbonize as rapidly as possible. Which is great '' better late than never. But a huge percentage of the push toward net zero carbon by 2050 is going to rely on batteries, and the simple fact is this: there's not going to be enough lithium.
There's plenty in the ground, but as we wrote a couple of months ago, there's nowhere near enough coming out of it, and while everyone seems to be expecting electric vehicles to continue taking over the auto market, the numbers look dire. By 2030, if all existing mines keep producing and everything that's under construction comes to fruition, there'll still be barely enough metal to satisfy half of demand. This will be a lithium resource squeeze of epic proportions.
Snow Lake Lithium hopes to be in production by 2025Snow Lake Lithium
"Anyone who doesn't see this coming is putting their head in the sand," says Gross, clearly exasperated. "And it's not just top down, governments pushing this on consumers. The consumer demand for EVs is already insane. We have a new generation who are finally conscious about these issues, and they want to do something about it. These people are already putting their names on two-year waiting lists for electric cars, they're putting the payment down and waiting literally years for their cars. It's wild. And it's the tip of the iceberg, because all the electric cars you're seeing now are high end '' US$50-60-grand cars minimum. We're gonna get down to the US$30-grand car soon."
"The consumers are overwhelming the manufacturers," he says, "so the manufacturers are pushing down on their battery guys. And the battery guys are saying OK, we'll build another factory for you. They're building 13 or 14 gigafactories now, just in North America. And there's no raw material to meet that. This is a massive, organic growth in demand that didn't exist three, five years ago. It's a monumental disconnect between supply and demand, and there's no way to fix it now, other than going on your hands and knees to China. China has no interest in supplying you with lithium or batteries. Their end goal is to dominate the automobile industry."
While the bulk of the world's known lithium resources are located in Australia and South America, Chinese businesses own large stakes in most of the mining operations. More than two-thirds of global lithium processing is done in China, and China makes somewhere around 80% of the world's batteries. Lithium mines take at least a decade to get up and running; there's scant chance of the Western world catching up.
Telltale flashes of silver-white lithium metal in the rockSnow Lake Lithium
The Chinese government got an advance look at the effects of heavy urban pollution back around 2010, and had the foresight to make big decisions, invest heavily in electrification and lock up the supply chain for lithium, cobalt, neodymium and other critical metals. Now it's becoming apparent: this is a legitimate national-security-level resource threat for countries like the United States.
"Nobody was interested in lithium for decades," says Gross. "People used it in ceramics, and some pharmaceuticals, and that was the entire market. Snow Lake's lithium resource was found back in the 1930s, and it was a huge disappointment. They kept drilling, desperately hoping for gold. Nobody in the history of the world ever bothered looking for lithium. No money was spent on it, and no money was spent on ecosystems. If you bring lithium out of the ground in North America, you can't do anything with it unless you send it to China."
Thus, as Snow Lake Lithium races to create the world's first fully-electric lithium mine to pull that metal out of the ground and process it into 6% spodumene, it's signed a MoU with Korean battery giant LG, which is planning a hydroxide processing plant nearby, capable of taking that spodumene and turning it into battery-grade lithium ready for the gigafactories. And so begins a fledgeling North American lithium battery supply chain.
Anatomy of the world's first all-electric lithium mineSnow Lake Lithium
Snow Lake's 55,000-acre site is located some 400 miles north of Winnipeg, and the LG plant will be close by, perfectly positioned to move bulk product down into the centre of the USA and out to every major manufacturing center via rail. With just 1% of its property explored, Gross says the company expects to supply around 160,000 tonnes of 6% spodumene a year, opening in 2025 or 26.
It'll be a super-clean operation; this is not a brine-based lithium extraction operation capable of contaminating groundwater and drinking water supplies.
"We're doing hard rock," says Gross."You take the rock out of the ground, you smash it, and you take out the critical element you're hoping to obtain. We've been doing this for thousands of years, for better or worse. We know it, and we can mitigate the impact of that.
"We're very fortunate with our location," he continues, "not just because this is a well-established mining area with a built-in workforce and a government that understands resources, but also because Manitoba is a 99% renewable energy area. There's some criticism out there '' totally misplaced and completely fallacious, in my view '' that if you drive an EV, you're somehow doing something worse for the climate than a gasoline car. You're not; if you burn a gallon of fuel, it's gone. Almost all the components of a battery can be repurposed and rejuvenated and recycled. And it's possible to do mining in a way that's carbon neutral, responsible and sustainable. We'll have to be responsible to our customers. I think in the not-too-distant future everything you buy is going to have a carbon impact number on it, like calories on a chocolate bar. So we can't compromise on environmental impact, that's our responsibility."
Easy exports to major US manufacturing centersSnow Lake Lithium
Snow Lake is working with Swedish company Epiroc, which will be supplying the all-electric mining equipment for the site.
"If we were going into production today," says Gross, "some of that equipment doesn't exist yet. They're working on it now. We're fairly confident it'll be available on schedule. But there's plenty of challenges ahead, nothing is straightforward. Canada in the winter, it gets to -35, -40. Special conditions, a lot of testing needs to be done to make sure the batteries operate optimally, all that sore of thing. But that's the challenge we've taken upon ourselves."
If everything goes to plan, Snow Lake will supply enough lithium into North America to make batteries for around 500,000 electric cars a year. That's a drop in the bucket compared to the 17-million-odd vehicles sold annually before the pandemic hit. Consumer demand is already shifting hard toward electric vehicles, and this trend is expected to accelerate sharply.
"The real insanity in the lithium market," says Gross, "doesn't hit until 2025, 26. Look at electric cars alone; in 2021, there were six and a half million electric cars sold globally, that's double the previous year. Let's say this year it's 10 million. It's not a lot of cars yet, but we're at the point where you see it doubling year on year. There's a cascade that unfolds from around 2025, where legislation starts kicking in, corporate fleets start electrifying, manufacturers will start rolling out new and more affordable product lines, the infrastructure will develop to support more widespread EV uptake ... That's when it's going to get really crazy."
Only a tiny portion of Snow Lake's 55,000-acre site has been exploredSnow Lake Lithium
North America's late arrival to the EV party could end up being an existential threat to its auto industry, if it can't get its hands on enough raw materials to compete with a flood of cheap, high-quality Chinese imports. We are certainly headed for interesting times.
Source: Snow Lake Lithium
The incongruity between "dirty" lithium mining and "clean" electric vehicles - ADI Analytics
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 18:08
Around the world, lithium mining practices are under scrutiny, especially in the salt flats of Argentina and Chile where more than half the world's lithium resources are located. Locals of these areas have observed an increase in droughts and suspect that lithium mining is behind it since brine is pumped from below the surface of the salt flats to extract lithium. To experts, it is still unclear to what extent the drought is related to lithium mining, which is known to be a water intensive process. Approximately 500,000 gallons of water is required to extract a metric ton of lithium. In Chile's Salar de Atacama, mining activities consumed 65% of the region's water. Apart from being a water intensive process, lithium mining poses other problems to the environment which puts the sustainability of its practice into question. With the demand for electric vehicles projected to grow, how can lithium-ion battery manufacturers diverge from ''dirty'' lithium mining and source their lithium from ''clean'' alternatives?
Tesla co-founder JB Straubel thinks he knows the answer. Straubel is blazing a new trail in the electric vehicle industry by aiming to create a ''closed-loop supply chain for electric vehicles'' in the United States. His new start-up company, Redwood Materials, raised over $700 million dollars in a funding round and is said to be valued at $3.7 billion dollars. Redwood Materials is focusing its attention towards building a future where primary production of metals is no longer necessary for the EV industry. This eases tensions for electric car manufacturers who are concerned about projected metal supply deficits caused by strong demand from the EV industry.
Lithium demand projections need to account for the growth of the lithium-ion battery market and the growth of other applications that use lithium. As discussed, lithium-ion batteries are used in the EV industry, but they are also used in electronic devices and in energy storage systems. Other applications of lithium include glass and ceramics, lubricants, air conditioning systems, and pharmaceutical products. In August 2020, Cochilco, a Chilean miner, announced lithium demand projections from 2020 to 2030 that accounted for the growth of lithium from the electric vehicle industry (Exhibit 1).
Exhibit 1: Global demand for lithium from electric vehicles and other applications from 2020-2030 in kilotons of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE)(Source: Cochilco)The demand for lithium driven by the electric vehicle industry and other applications is estimated to grow at an annual growth rate of 34.2% and 4.5%, respectively, as seen in Exhibit 1. However, some factors could impede the growth of lithium demand. In the short-term, disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic could last longer than anticipated, which would continue to negatively impact global supply chains. In the mid-term, slow growth in technological improvements that make EVs more affordable to manufacture could lower future demand for lithium. In the long term, technological advancements in hydrogen or other power alternatives could delay lithium demand growth.
On the supply side, there are sources of lithium worldwide: rock mineral or pegmatites, brines, and sedimentary rocks. Pegmatites account for 26% of the worldwide lithium resources while brines and sedimentary rocks account for 66% and 8%, respectively. Major pegmatite deposits can be found in Australia, U.S., the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Canada. Brines are underground, aquatic sources of lithium that are found at the Lithium Triangle in South America. Sedimentary rocks such as smectite and jadarite are abundant in the U.S., Mexico, Serbia, and Peru. Key lithium raw materials and chemicals such as lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide vary significantly in their lithium content. As a result, lithium market data is often reported in terms of ''lithium carbonate equivalent'' or LCE to easily compare on a like-for-like basis. For example, the projected lithium supply from 2020 to 2030 is expected to grow at an annual growth rate of 15.4% from 327,000 metric tons of LCE to 1,367,000 metric tons of LCE compared to the projected lithium demand from 2020 to 2030 which is expected to grow at an annual growth rate of 18.9% from 317,000 metric tons of LCE to 1,793,000 metric tons of LCE (Exhibit 2).
Exhibit 2: Lithium supply and demand balance for 2016, 2020, and 2030 in kilotons of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) (Source: Cochilco)The lithium market was in a deficit from 2016 to 2017 and there were expectations for electric vehicle sales to grow during that time causing lithium prices to increase. New projects were initiated to close the gap between supply and demand, but in 2018 and 2019 the market was over-supplied by 17,000 metric tons and 2,000 metric tons, respectively. Disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic slightly reduced demand by 6,000 metric tons increasing the surplus to 10,000 metric tons in 2020.
The recovery of electric vehicle sales and manufacturing is anticipated to surge lithium demand by 35.6% causing the market to enter a slight deficit. From 2023 and 2026, a growing surplus is expected as new mining projects are brought into operation. However, demand is projected to continue growing at a faster rate than supply, so the lithium market will enter in what some call ''the perpetual lithium deficit''.
According to the US Department of Energy, less than 5% of lithium-ion batteries are currently recycled, and companies like Redwood Materials could help tackle the expected lithium supply deficit without depending on primary production. However, it is unlikely for Redwood Materials to truly make a sizable impact on the deficit until 2030, when used batteries will be returned in large quantities.
ADI is launching a multi-client study '' ''The New Frontier: Critical Minerals & the Energy Transition'' '' which is focused on a comprehensive assessment and outlook for critical minerals supply and demand through 2030. This 12-week long multi-client study process builds on ADI's extensive research and deep expertise in metals, minerals, mining, mineral processing, and energy transition. The study will be based on in-depth primary and secondary research and supply and demand modeling and analytics. Please download the multi-client study prospectus '' ''The New Frontier: Critical Minerals & the Energy Transition'''' and contact us to learn more.
Stay tuned and read our previous blogs a part of our new blog series, Mining and Metals.
'' Jacqueline Unzueta and Swati Singh
Work From Home to Lower Your Office's Energy Bill, Employers in Europe Tell Staff - WSJ
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 17:31
High heating and electricity costs prompt some managers to unwind return-to-work mandates, and not all workers are happy
For two years, Milan's Mayor Beppe Sala tried to get the city's public servants to return to the office after working from home at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. Now he is asking staff to stay home more, to cut high municipal energy bills.
He isn't alone. Around Europe, some employers are encouraging their staff to spend less time at the office as high electricity and heating bills become outsize overheads, slowing down'--or even reversing'--the push to end widespread working from home.
''It...
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For two years, Milan's Mayor Beppe Sala tried to get the city's public servants to return to the office after working from home at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. Now he is asking staff to stay home more, to cut high municipal energy bills.
He isn't alone. Around Europe, some employers are encouraging their staff to spend less time at the office as high electricity and heating bills become outsize overheads, slowing down'--or even reversing'--the push to end widespread working from home.
''It started with the war in Ukraine,'' said Mr. Sala, who recently made Friday a day of mandatory remote working for more than 2,000 of Milan's municipal employees. ''We all need to save energy.''
Europe's energy crisis is flipping the work-from-home debate on its head. Remote working is now a favor that bosses are asking from their workers, not a pandemic-era pattern that managers want to end.
Energy costs in Europe have soared since Russia's invasion of Ukraine as Russia slashed natural-gas supplies to the region as punishment for Europe's sanctions on Moscow and support for Kyiv.
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Some office buildings in Europe are being closed one day a week or more to save on energy costs. In Spain, government workers are often required to work remotely up to three days a week when their offices are closed. Until recently, the workers had the right to work from home one day a week.
Private-sector employers are joining in. Italy's biggest telecoms company, Telecom Italia , is in talks with labor unions to shift most employees to compulsory remote work on Fridays, when most buildings will stay shut, the company said. Staff are already allowed two days of home-working a week if they want.
Not all workers are happy to be told to work more from home again, for the same reason that employers don't want them in the office: It is expensive.
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Labor unions say it is unfair to dump the rising cost of electricity and heating onto workers, demanding financial compensation for working from home.
''People who work from home are being saddled with costs that really belong to employers,'' said Florindo Olivero, a representative of Italy's largest labor union, CGIL. ''Using remote work only when it is convenient for employers can generate conflict, particularly at a time when families are struggling with high costs.''
In the U.K., nearly a quarter of employees plan to work from the office more often to limit their energy consumption at home, according to a recent survey by market-research company OnePoll.
After going fully remote at the height of the pandemic, most workers in the U.S. and Europe have gradually returned to the office for at least a few days a week, studies show.
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At many companies, managers say working from home is bad for productivity.
''All the Covid stay-at-home stuff has tricked people into thinking that you don't actually need to work hard. Rude awakening inbound!,'' Elon Musk said before banning remote working at Tesla in June.
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Last week, Mr. Musk told staff at Twitter, which he just acquired, that he would end remote work for most of them.
In Europe, where energy bills have nearly doubled from a year ago, concerns about the productivity of home-working have faded.
Mr. Sala, Milan's mayor, saw working from home as an unfortunate necessity, to be eliminated quickly, after Covid swept through northern Italy in early 2020.
''It's time to get back to work,'' he said in June 2020. His strict stance has softened. He recently increased the number of remote-working days for his staff to an average of around 10 a month from eight, because of high energy costs. Mr. Sala also introduced other energy-saving measures in Milan, such as shorter hours for street lighting.
When the mayor of a Brussels district announced a mandatory stay-at-home day for his staff last month, he issued a note of apology. ''These are not pleasant measures to take,'' said Emir Kir, mayor of St. Josse, announcing that offices would stay shut on Fridays for the foreseeable future. ''Unfortunately we don't have a choice, if we want to preserve our jobs and fair levels of taxation.''
Some employers are offering financial incentives to stay away from the office. Air France is paying employees an extra 4 euros, equivalent to around $4.14, for each day of remote work. The French airline is prolonging its pandemic-era policy of hybrid working, which allows some 11,000 workers to work from home up to three days a week. The head office and other sites remain closed on Fridays. Public-sector workers in France are paid '‚¬2.50 a day for working from home.
In the U.K., the extra cost for employees working from home all week this winter could range from 50 pounds, equivalent to around $57, to 130 pounds a month, studies have estimated.
The cost is lower for hybrid workers. In Italy, extra energy costs'--including winter heating and summer air conditioning'--add up to around '‚¬400 a year for people who work from home two days a week, according to a study by Osservatorio Smart Working, a research center at the Polytechnic University of Milan.
But working from home saves money in other ways. ''On average, workers save around '‚¬1,000 on commuting costs alone,'' said Mariano Corso, who heads the research center. ''There are clear savings with remote work.'' For companies, the net savings add up to around '‚¬500 per employee, the study estimates.
Milan hopes to save up to '‚¬2 million this winter by keeping four municipal office buildings shut on Fridays. Those who don't want to work from home on Friday can go to other office buildings that are staying open.
Federico Gamberini is among the roughly 2,300 Milan city employees whose office is shut on Fridays. He likes working from home but thinks employers should share some of their savings with workers.
''It's not so much about the money, it's a matter of principle,'' Mr. Gamberini said.
The mayor's office is in talks with unions about possible financial incentives but says the savings from remote work aren't much. ''We are just limiting our losses,'' Mr. Sala said.
Write to Margherita Stancati at margherita.stancati@wsj.com
Our Foods - UPSIDE Foods
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 17:10
Our chicken looks, cooks, and tastes like chicken because it is real chicken.
What makes our meat unique is how it's cultivated: we take a small sample of healthy chicken cells. We place it in a nutrient-rich environment and allow it to grow into pure clean meat, ready to cook and enjoy.
Chicken, fish, or beef?It's all UPSIDE.
In choosing our first product to launch, it had to be chicken. Chicken is the most consumed meat in the U.S. and its popularity circles the globe. Plus, ours tastes really good.
SAFE & DELICIOUSWe are working closely with the USDA and FDA to ensure our products follow the highest standards of production and quality in the world.
Of course, we start with optimal cells to develop the same mouthwatering texture, aroma, and taste of the chicken you love. Check back for cooking tips from our chefs.
LOVE CHICKEN,LOVE CHICKENSUsing the cells from a single chicken, we spare countless numbers of our feathered friends! The smaller the footprint of meat production, the greater the environmental benefits.
Read more about our impact LOVE CHICKEN,LOVE CHICKENSUsing the cells from a single chicken, we spare countless numbers of our feathered friends! The smaller the footprint of meat production, the greater the environmental benefits.
Read more about our impact COMING SOONWhat starts with chicken is growing into the UPSIDE of a healthier planet, and enough food for everyone. We have been perfecting our foods since 2015, including the beef meatball and our delectable duck. Check back to see what other meats are coming to our menu.
Cooking With Dominique Crenn
Jake and Asha's First Bite
Richard Branson tries UPSIDE Chicken
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FDA approves lab-grown meat for first time in US
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 17:09
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved laboratory grown meat for human consumption for the first time.
FDA said in a statement that it had "evaluated the information submitted to the agency and has no further questions at this time about the firm's safety conclusion."
The agency evaluated data from the firm Upside saying, "The firm will use animal cell culture technology to take living cells from chickens and grow the cells in a controlled environment to make the cultured animal cell food."
Upside Foods responded to the FDA's notice writing, "Today we are one step closer to your dining tables as Upside Foods becomes the first company in the world to receive the USFDA greenlight -- that means the FDA has evaluated our production process and accepts our conclusion that our cultivated chicken is safe to eat."
The FDA said it is now ready to work with other "firms developing cultured animal cell food and production processes," signaling that the cultivation of meat in a laboratory could be seen more often in the future.
Lab grown meat has already seen approvals in other countries like Singapore.
Uma Valeti, CEO and founder of the California-based company Upside Foods, worked as a cardiologist and started the company in 2015 with produces "cultivated" meat.
Valeti came up with the idea for the company while working at the Mayo Clinic growing human heart cells in a laboratory, NPR reported.
Copyright 2022 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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Senate Votes to End COVID Emergency; Biden Says He'll Veto If House Passes
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 15:12
The Senate voted on Nov. 15 to terminate the COVID-19 national emergency that was first declared during the Trump administration and has been extended repeatedly during the Biden administration.
The Senate passed a measure in a 62''36 bipartisan vote to end the emergency, which was initially declared on March 13, 2020.
Thirteen Democrats sided with Republicans to approve the resolution, while all the ''no'' votes were from Democrats. Sens. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) and Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) didn't vote.
''It has now been more than two and a half years since this first-issued proclamation declaring the national emergency concerning declaration and been extended twice by President Biden since the initial declaration, most recently February of this year,'' Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), who sponsored the resolution, said on the Senate floor.
''It is with this national emergency declaration, in tandem with other additional powers currently invoked by the president, which this administration is manipulating to super size government powers. And now it's obvious they need these powers to continue their spending spree to enact their radical partisan agenda and grow government dependency through further expansion of our welfare state.''
Evidence shows the emergency phase of the pandemic has come and gone, including the number of new COVID-19 hospital admissions being near a record low and the number of people with natural immunity, or post-infection protection, rising, the senator said.
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) voted against the measure because he said it would harm the federal government's ability to deal with the pandemic.
The emergency enables the administration to pay for COVID-19 vaccines and other products.
It's the third time the Senate has approved the measure. The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives has never held a vote on it.
In a statement, the White House said that even if the House approved the resolution, President Joe Biden would veto it.
''Continuing to protect against COVID-19 and ensuring that our response remains nimble are top priorities of this Administration,'' the White House said, adding that terminating the emergency would ''unnecessarily and abruptly curtail the ability of the Administration to respond to COVID-19.''
A Biden administration health official suggested this week that the emergency, which is set to expire in January 2023, would be extended. The administration has said it would give 60 days of notice before the emergency ends and the Nov. 11 deadline came and went without such notice.
Sarah Lovenheim, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), said in a statement that the emergency ''remains in effect and as HHS committed to earlier, we will provide a 60-day notice to states before any possible termination or expiration.''
Jack Phillips contributed to this report.
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Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news for The Epoch Times. He is based in Maryland.
Scientists may have developed fentanyl vaccine
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 15:11
Scientists believe they've developed a vaccine that will block fentanyl from entering the brain and stop users from getting high '-- a breakthrough being hailed as a ''game changer'' in the fight against the opioid overdose epidemic.
In testing on rats, the vaccine ''produced significant amounts'' of anti-fentanyl antibodies that clung to the deadly addictive synthetic opioid, according to a study printed in the journal Pharmaceutics.
That prevented the drug ''from entering the brain, allowing it to be eliminated out of the body via the kidneys,'' said lead author Colin Haile of the University of Houston's Drug Discovery Institute.
''Thus, the individual will not feel the euphoric effects and can 'get back on the wagon' to sobriety,'' said Haile, predicting it ''could have a significant impact on a very serious problem plaguing society for years.''
Lead author Colin Haile hopes the vaccine ''could have a significant impact on a very serious problem plaguing society for years.''Fentanyl is up to 50 times stronger than heroin, and a dose of only 2 milligrams '-- the size of two grains of rice '-- can prove fatal.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 71,000 Americans died of fentanyl overdoses last year '-- almost 195 a day '-- by far the biggest cause of the overall 107,622 fatal overdoses.
The vaccine's preclinical results ''demonstrate efficacy in neutralizing'' fentanyl, making it ''a potential therapeutic for [overuse] and overdose in humans,'' the study stated.
Another of the Texas university's professors involved in the study, Therese Kosten, called it a potential ''game changer.''
''Fentanyl use and overdose is a particular treatment challenge that is not adequately addressed with current medications,'' Kosten said.
Fentanyl is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and killed more than 71,000 in the US last year. Getty Images/iStockphotoThose treatments used at the moment are short-lasting and need multiple doses, Kosten said, while the vaccine would effectively also work as a ''relapse prevention agent,'' the study said.
The team plans to start manufacturing clinical-grade vaccines in the coming months with plans to start trials on humans.
The researchers said the vaccine did not cause any adverse side effects in the rats it was used on, and said the positive fentanyl-blocking results came from low, safe doses.
They also ''expect minimal side effects in clinical trials'' because the main components are already widely used and tested.
Also, the antibodies proved specific to fentanyl, meaning ''a vaccinated person would still be able to be treated for pain relief with other opioids,'' Haile noted.
Exclusive: Germany steps up emergency cash plans to cope in blackout | Reuters
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 14:53
FRANKFURT, Nov 15 (Reuters) - German authorities are stepping up preparations for emergency cash deliveries in case of a blackout to keep the economy running, four people involved said, as the nation braces for possible power cuts arising from the war in Ukraine.
The plans include the Bundesbank, Germany's central bank, hoarding extra billions to cope with a surge in demand, and possible limits on withdrawals, one of the people said.
Officials and banks are also looking at distribution, discussing for example priority fuel access for cash transporters, said others, commenting on preparations that accelerated in recent weeks after Russia throttled gas supplies.
The planning discussions involve the central bank, its financial market regulator BaFin, and multiple financial industry associations, said the people, some of whom spoke on condition of anonymity about plans that are private and in flux.
Although German authorities have publicly played down the likelihood of a blackout, the discussions show both how seriously they take the threat and how they struggle to prepare for potential crippling power outages caused by soaring energy costs or even sabotage.
They also underscore the widening ramifications of the Ukraine war for Germany, which has for decades relied on affordable Russian energy and now faces double-digit inflation and a threat of disruption from fuel and energy shortages.
Access to cash is of special concern for Germans, who value the security and anonymity it offers, and who tend to use it more than other Europeans, with some still hoarding Deutschmarks replaced by euros more than two decades ago.
Roughly 60% of everyday purchases are paid in cash, according to a recent Bundesbank study that found Germans, on average, withdrew more than 6,600 euros annually chiefly from cash machines.
A parliamentary report a decade ago warned of "discontent" and "aggressive altercations" in case citizens were unable to get their hands on cash in a blackout.
There was a rush for cash at the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, when Germans withdrew 20 billion more euros than they deposited. That was a record, and it worked without a hitch.
Reuters GraphicsBut a potential blackout raises new questions about possible scenarios, and officials are intensively revisiting the issue as the energy crisis in Europe's largest economy deepens and winter nears.
If a blackout struck, one option for policymakers could be to limit the amount of cash individuals withdraw, said one of the people.
The Bundesbank processes cash moving through Germany's shops and economy, removing fakes and keeping circulation orderly. Its massive stocks make it ready for any spike in demand, that person said.
NO JUMPING THE LINEOne weakness that planning exposed involves security firms that transport money from the central bank to ATMs and banks.
The industry, which includes Brinks (BCO.N) and Loomis (LOOMIS.ST), is not fully covered by law guiding priority access to fuel and telecommunications during a blackout, according to the industry organization BDGW.
"There are big loopholes," said Andreas Paulick, BDGW director. Armoured vehicles would have to line up at petrol stations like everyone else, he said.
The organization hosted a meeting last week with central bank officials and lawmakers to press its case.
"We must preventively tackle the realistic scenario of a blackout," Paulick said. "It would be totally naive to not talk about this at a time like now."
More than 40% of Germans fear a blackout in the next six months, according to a survey last week published by Funke Mediengruppe.
Germany's disaster office said it recommended people keep cash at home for such emergencies.
German financial regulators worry that banks are not fully prepared for major power outages and view it as a new, previously unforeseen risk, said an official with direct knowledge of the matter.
Banks consider a full-scale blackout "improbable", according to Deutsche Kreditwirtschaft, the financial sector's umbrella organization. But banks nevertheless are "in contact with the relevant ministries and authorities" to plan for such a scenario.
It said finance should be considered as critical infrastructure if energy is rationed.
At times politics can get in the way of blackout planning.
In Frankfurt, Germany's banking capital, one city council member proposed requiring it to present a blackout plan by Nov. 17.
The politician, Markus Fuchs of the right-wing AfD party, told the council it would be irresponsible not to plan for one. But the other parties rejected the proposal, accusing Fuchs and his party of inciting panic.
Fuchs later said in a phone interview: "If we found a solution for world peace, it would be rejected."
The issue also underscores the dependence of commerce on technology, with transactions increasingly electronic, and where most cash machines have no emergency power source.
Cash would be the only official payment method that would still work, said Thomas Leitert, chief of KomRe, a company that advises cities on planning for blackouts and other catastrophes.
"How else will the ravioli cans and candles be paid for?" Leitert said.
He said that he has long been warning authorities of blackout risks but that planning has been inadequate.
Reporting by Tom Sims, Marta Oroszko and John O'DonnellEditing by Tomasz Janowski
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Tom SimsThomson Reuters
Covers German finance with a focus on big banks, insurance companies, regulation and financial crime, previous experience at the Wall Street Journal and New York Times in Europe and Asia.
SF launches guaranteed income program for transgender community
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 14:30
By KTVU staff
Published November 16, 2022 1:20PM
articleSAN FRANCISCO, CA - NOVEMBER 15: Mayor London N. Breed speaks during the American Indian Heritage Celebration as the City officials attend at the City Hall of San Francisco in California, United States on November 15, 2022. (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/An
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., - San Francisco has launched a guaranteed income program for Trans people.
The city's Mayor, London Breed, said the new program will provide low-income transgender residents with payments up to $1,200 each month for up to 18 months.
The city says the payments will help the trans community with financial insecurity.
The program will support 55 people. In addition to guaranteed income, participants will be provided with gender-affirming medical and mental health care, case management and specialty care services, and financial coaching.
SEE ALSO: Thieves target photographers at San Francisco's Palace of Fine Arts
The deadline to apply for the program is Dec. 15, 2022.
"Our Guaranteed Income Programs allow us to help our residents when they need it most as part of our City's economic recovery and our commitment to creating a more just city for all," said Mayor Breed. "We know that our trans communities experience much higher rates of poverty and discrimination, so this program will target support to lift individuals in this community up."
San Francisco has other similar guaranteed income programs.
In 2020, the city launched the Abundant Birth Project, which offers basic income for Black and Pacific Islander mothers and pregnant people during and after pregnancy. Participants receive $1,000 payments each month.
Mink loose, missing after vandalism at farm in Ohio - CBS News
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 14:28
Vandalism freed thousands of mink at a rural northwest Ohio farm, leaving an estimated 10,000 of the small carnivorous mammals unaccounted for Tuesday evening, the local sheriff said.
So many minks were killed crossing a nearby road that a plow was brought in to help clear the carcasses away, said Van Wert County Sheriff Thomas Riggenbach.
The property owner initially estimated 25,000 to 40,000 mink were released from their cages at Lion Farms, Riggenbach said. But he said employees at the farm were able to corral many of the ones that remained on the property, which is less than 15 miles from the Indiana state line.
He declined to discuss any potential motive for the overnight vandalism or say whether any suspect has been identified as his office investigates.
A farm manager told WANE-TV that someone left a spray-painted message of the letters "ALF" and the phrase "we'll be back."
A group known as the Animal Liberation Front had previously claimed credit for releasing a much smaller number of mink at the farm in a previous incident years ago, the Times Bulletin in Van Wert reported.
Calls to a phone number listed for the farm were unanswered Tuesday, and it wasn't accepting messages.
The sheriff's office initially warned residents in the area to be cautious with poultry flocks, small pets and koi ponds that the mink might attack, but it later said the freed mink are considered domesticated and likely lack the skills to survive in the wild.
The sheriff urged people who spot them not to approach them, and to contact the farm or trappers for recapturing. He said residents who want to hunt or trap mink must make sure they understand what related rules and exemptions apply in their area.
A similar incident occurred in 2017 when about 40,000 mink were released from a fur farm in Minnesota.
Trending News
Poland, NATO say missile strike wasn't a Russian attack | AP News
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 14:22
PRZEWODOW, Poland (AP) '-- NATO member Poland and the head of the military alliance both said Wednesday that a missile strike in Polish farmland that killed two people appeared to be unintentional and was probably launched by air defenses in neighboring Ukraine. Russia had been bombarding Ukraine at the time in an attack that savaged its power grid.
''Ukraine's defense was launching their missiles in various directions, and it is highly probable that one of these missiles unfortunately fell on Polish territory,'' said Polish President Andrzej Duda. ''There is nothing, absolutely nothing, to suggest that it was an intentional attack on Poland.''
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, at a meeting of the 30-nation military alliance in Brussels, echoed the preliminary Polish findings. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, however, disputed them and asked for further investigation.
The assessments of Tuesday's deadly missile landing appeared to dial back the likelihood of the strike triggering another major escalation in the nearly 9-month-old Russian invasion of Ukraine. If Russia had targeted Poland, that could have risked drawing NATO into the conflict.
Still, Stoltenberg and others laid overall but not specific blame on Russian President Vladimir Putin's war.
''This is not Ukraine's fault. Russia bears ultimate responsibility,'' Stoltenberg said.
Zelenskyy told reporters he had ''no doubts'' about a report he received from his top commanders ''that it wasn't our missile or our missile strike.'' Ukrainian officials should have access to the site and take part in the investigation, he added.
''Let's say openly, if, God forbid, some remnant (of Ukraine's air-defenses) killed a person, these people, then we need to apologize,'' he said. ''But first there needs to be a probe, access '-- we want to get the data you have.''
On Tuesday, he called the strike ''a very significant escalation.''
Before the Polish and NATO assessments, U.S. President Joe Biden had said it was ''unlikely'' that Russia fired the missile but added: ''I'm going to make sure we find out exactly what happened.''
A Russian Defense Ministry spokesman in Moscow said no Russian strike Tuesday was closer than 35 kilometers (22 miles) from the Ukraine-Poland border. The Kremlin denounced Poland's and other countries' initial response and, in rare praise for a U.S. leader, hailed Biden's ''restrained, much more professional reaction.''
''We have witnessed another hysterical, frenzied, Russo-phobic reaction that was not based on any real data,'' Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
Later Wednesday, Russia's Foreign Ministry summoned the Polish ambassador in Moscow; the discussion reportedly lasted about 20 minutes.
The Polish president said the missile was probably a Russian-made S-300 dating from the Soviet era. Ukraine, once part of the Soviet Union, fields Soviet- and Russian-made weaponry and has also seized many more Russian weapons while beating back the Kremlin's invasion forces.
Russia's assault on power generation and transmission facilities Tuesday included Ukraine's western region bordering Poland. Ukraine's military said 77 of the more than 90 missiles fired were brought down by air defenses, along with 11 drones.
The countrywide bombardment by cruise missiles and exploding drones clouded the initial picture of what happened in Poland.
''It was a huge blast, the sound was terrifying.'' said Ewa Byra, the primary school director in the eastern village of Przewodow, where the missile struck. She said she knew both men who were killed '-- one was the husband of a school employee, the other the father of a former pupil.
Another resident, 24-year-old Kinga Kancir, said the men worked at a grain-drying facility.
''It is very hard to accept,'' she said. ''Nothing was going on and, all of a sudden, there is a world sensation.''
In Europe, NATO members called for a thorough investigation and criticized Moscow.
''This wouldn't have happened without the Russian war against Ukraine, without the missiles that are now being fired at Ukrainian infrastructure intensively and on a large scale,'' said German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
Swaths of Ukraine were without power after the aerial assault. Zelenskyy said about 10 million people lost electricity, but tweeted overnight that 8 million were subsequently reconnected. Previous strikes had already destroyed an estimated 40% of the country's energy infrastructure.
Ukraine said the bombardment was the largest on its power grid so far.
A Washington-based think tank, the Institute for the Study of War, said Ukraine's downing of so many Russian missiles Tuesday ''illustrates the improvement in Ukrainian air defenses in the last month,'' which are being bolstered with Western-supplied systems. Sweden said Wednesday that an air defense system with ammunition would form part of its latest and largest package of military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine, worth $360 million.
The U.S. has been Ukraine's largest supporter, providing $18.6 billion in weapons and equipment. U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the flow of weapons and assistance would continue ''throughout the winter so that Ukraine can continue to consolidate gains and seize the initiative on the battlefield.''
Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he tried to speak to his Russian counterpart Wednesday, but those efforts were not successful. Milley didn't elaborate on the efforts, but the lack of a conversation, at a time when there were questions about whether Russia had struck a NATO ally, raises concerns about high-level U.S.-Russian communications in a crisis.
At the United Nations, the organization's political chief said the missile strike in Poland was ''a frightening reminder'' of the need to prevent any more escalation of the war.
As long as the fighting continues, Rosemary DiCarlo warned the U.N. Security Council, ''the risks of potentially catastrophic spillover remain all too real.''
The Russian attacks followed days of euphoria in Ukraine sparked by one of its biggest military successes '-- the retaking last week of the southern city of Kherson.
With its battlefield losses mounting, Russia has increasingly resorted to targeting Ukraine's power grid as winter approaches.
Russian attacks in the previous 24 hours killed at least six civilians and wounded another 17, a senior official, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, said Wednesday.
Lviv Gov. Maksym Kozytskyy said two of three Russian missiles hit critical energy infrastructure in the western province. Power was restored to about 95% of the province, he said, but only 30% of consumers can use electricity at the same time.
Power shortages caused extensive train delays extending into Wednesday, but there were no cancellations because diesel locomotives were pressed into service, rail officials said.
Kyiv resident Margina Daria said Tuesday's strikes knocked out cellphone service in her area.
''We have already adapted to life without light, because we have scheduled outages every day, but without communication it was quite disturbing,'' she said. ''There was no way to even tell our families that we were OK.''
___
AP journalists Vanessa Gera and Monika Scislowska in Warsaw; Lorne Cook in Brussels; John Leicester in Kyiv, Ukraine; Yuras Karmanau in Tallinn, Estonia; Zeke Miller in Nusa Dua, Indonesia; Michael Balsamo and Lolita Baldor in Washington; Elise Morton in London; Edith M. Lederer at the United Nations; and James LaPorta in Wilmington, North Carolina, contributed.
___
Follow AP's coverage of the war in Ukraine: https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine
Blowback: Italian police bust Azov-tied Nazi cell planning terror attacks - The Grayzone
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 14:21
The arrest of Italian neo-Nazis affiliated with the Ukrainian Azov Battalion highlights the terrifying potential for blowback from the Ukraine proxy war Italian police announced a series of raids against the neo-Nazi Order of Hagal organization. Accused of stockpiling weapons and planning terror attacks, the group has established operational ties to the Ukrainian Azov Battalion.
Five members of an Italian neo-Nazi organization known as the ''Order of Hagal'' were arrested on November 15th while an additional member remains wanted by authorities. He happened to be in Ukraine, fighting Russian forces alongside the Azov Battalion, which has been formally integrated into the Ukrainian military.
The ''Hagal'' members are accused of plotting terrorist attacks on civilian and police targets. A sixth member of the Hagal group, now considered a fugitive, is in Ukraine and embedded with the Azov Battalion, a neo-Nazi paramilitary group that has been incorporated into the Ukrainian National Guard.
Members of the Order of Hagal reportedly maintained ''direct and frequent'' contacts over Telegram with not just the Azov Battalion, but also the neo-Nazi Ukrainian military formations Right Sector and Centuria , ''probably in the view of possible recruitment into the ranks of these fighting groups,'' according to Italian media .
The police investigation was launched in 2019 and has included extensive computer searches and wiretapping; tactics which have revealed members of the group's intent on carrying out violent acts in Italy.
Scoperta un'associazione sovversiva di stampo neonazista, negazionista e suprematista, arresti e perquisizioni in operazione #Digos di Napoli con collaborazione della Direzione centrale Polizia prevenzione #DCPP e Servizio #Poliziapostale #essercisempre #15novembre pic.twitter.com/QaFvXQTTv4
'-- Polizia di Stato (@poliziadistato) November 15, 2022
One of the arrested members, Giampiero Testa, was reportedly ''dangerously close to far-right Ukrainian Nationalist groups'' and was planning an attack on a police station in Marigliano in Naples, according to wiretaps. The fugitive Azov fighter , Anton Radomsky, is a Ukrainian citizen who has lived in Italy but is currently fighting on behalf of the Ukrainian armed forces. Authorities say Radomsky planned to attack the ''Volcano Buono'' shopping mall in Naples.
In a January 2021 wiretap, Testa said he ''would make a massacre like the one in New Zealand, but I wouldn't go to the blacks, I would go to the barracks in Marigliano.'' He was referring to the New Zealand mosque shooter who claimed to have visited Ukraine and wore a Nazi Sonnenrad, or ''black sun'' patch on his flak jacket as he slew 51 worshippers. The symbol, as the New York Times noted in 2019, is ''commonly used by the Azov Battalion, a Ukrainian neo-Nazi paramilitary organization.''
In February 2021, Testa ranted over the phone, stating ''Like [racist Christchurch mass shooter] Tarrant'... tututututu. In the Marigliano barracks. Boom boom, I killed them all.''
Around the same time, police monitoring the Order of Hagal organization seized ''soft air weapons'' that could be ''easily modified to fire authentic bullets,'' ammunition, tactical gear, and even a grenade launcher. The group is also accused of conducting paramilitary trainings in Naples and Caserta as well as seminars promoting white supremacy and Holocaust denial.
Footage of the arrests broadcast by the news channel Sky Tg24 shows long knives, a Nordic-style axe, a bat emblazoned with the words ''Leader Mussolini,'' a swastika flag, a gas mask, an Azov Battalion t-shirt and ''Valhalla Express,'' a memoir by an Azov fighter.
The TG24 report is below.
But Ukraine is not the only country to have been visited by members of the Order of Hagal; ''some members'' also traveled to Israel to train in Krav Maga and the use of long and short weapons,'' according to police officials. In fact, they were even given diplomas for completing the training.
The police operation spanned thirteen provinces in Italy and has included ''26 personal, home and computer searches,'' according to the police press release announcing the arrests.
Among those arrested for ''the crime of association with the purpose of terrorism or subversion of the democratic order'' are Maurizio Ammendola, the founder of the group, its vice president Michele Rinaldi, and members Giampiero Testa and Massimiliano Mariano.
The fifth arrested member, Fabio Colarossi, is accused of spreading neo-Nazi propaganda.
While Nazism has found a safe space in the Ukrainian armed forces, the arrests and warrants against the members of the Order of Hagal that planned terror attacks suggests the potential for blowback from NATO's Ukraine proxy war, as battle-hardened, ideologically extreme veterans encouraged by Western governments and supported with US and EU aid return home to cities across Europe.
''The high availability of weapons during the current conflict will result in the proliferation in illicit arms in the post-conflict phase,'' Interpol Secretary General Juergen Stock has warned .
As The Grayzone has reported, a 2022 Department of Homeland Security document acknowledged that ''Ukrainian nationalist groups including the Azov Movement are actively recruiting racially or ethnically motivated violent extremist white supremacists to join various neo-Nazi volunteer battalions in the war against Russia'' but noted a key intelligence gap: ''What kind of training are foreign fighters receiving in Ukraine that they could possibly proliferate in US based militia and white nationalist groups?''
Hastings College of Law Bars the ''Heckler's Veto'' in Defense of Free Speech '' JONATHAN TURLEY
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 14:17
For years, some of us have called upon schools to impose stricter rules against students or faculty disrupting classes or events by shouting down speakers or preventing them from being heard. While some law professors and legal sites have supported such cancel tactics, the University of California Hastings College of the Law has joined those schools in barring the use of what is loosely called the ''heckler's veto.'' It is now routine for protesters to prevent others from hearing opposing views and there are often allegations that some schools quietly allow the use of the heckler's veto. The new Event Policy prohibits''forms of protest that substantially disrupt an in-person or virtual event in a way that has the effect of silencing a speaker,'' but still recognizes and protects peaceful protest such as banner holding, counter events, and engaging in question and answer periods as part of the ''essential right to protest.''
Under this rule, Administrators may now hold violators ''accountable for violating the UC Hastings Code of Student Conduct and Discipline.'' We have seen convocations and other important events disrupted by such protesters. We recently discussed how Cornell is pledging to punish students who prevented conservative writer Ann Coulter from speaking.
We have previously discussed the worrisome signs of a rising generation of censors in the country as leaders and writers embrace censorship and blacklisting. The latest chilling poll was released by 2021 College Free Speech Rankings after questioning a huge body of 37,000 students at 159 top-ranked U.S. colleges and universities. It found that sixty-six percent of college students think shouting down a speaker to stop them from speaking is a legitimate form of free speech. Another 23 percent believe violence can be used to cancel a speech. That is roughly one out of four supporting violence.
We discussed this issue with regard to a lawsuit against SUNY. It is also discussed in my recent law review article, Jonathan Turley, Harm and Hegemony: The Decline of Free Speech in the United States, Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy. We have seen how in universities (including state schools) this can turn into a type of ''heckler's veto'' where speeches are cancelled in advance or terminated suddenly due to the disruption of protesters.
This has been an issue of contention with some academics who believe that free speech includes the right to silence others. Berkeley has been the focus of much concern over the use of a heckler's veto on our campuses as violent protesters have succeeded in silencing speakers, including a speaker from the ACLU discussing free speech. Both students and some faculty have maintained the position that they have a right to silence those with whom they disagree and even student newspapers have declared opposing speech to be outside of the protections of free speech. At another University of California campus, professors actually rallied around a professor who physically assaulted pro-life advocates and tore down their display.
In the meantime, academics and deans have said that there is no free speech protection for offensive or ''disingenuous'' speech. CUNY Law Dean Mary Lu Bilek showed how far this trend has gone. When conservative law professor Josh Blackman was stopped from speaking about ''the importance of free speech,'' Bilek insisted that disrupting the speech on free speech was free speech. (Bilek later cancelled herself and resigned after she made a single analogy to acting like a ''slaveholder'' as a self-criticism for failing to achieve equity and reparations for black faculty and students).
A few years ago, I debated NYU Professor Jeremy Waldron who is a leading voice for speech codes. Waldron insisted that shutting down speakers through heckling is a form of free speech. I disagree. It is the antithesis of free speech and the failure of schools to protect the exercise of free speech is the antithesis of higher education. In most schools, people are not allowed to disrupt events. They are escorted out of such events and told that they can protest outside of the events since others have a right to listen to opposing views. These disruptions, however, are often planned to continually interrupt speakers until the school authorities step in to cancel the event.
Hastings has taken an important stand against these disruptive cancel campaigns. It must now carry out its pledge to protect free speech by holding students accountable when they seek to prevent others from speaking or being heard on campus. Of course, you must also invite speakers who offer alternative or dissenting views, which has become increasingly rare at law school.
Total Number of People Taking Psychiatric Drugs in the United States '' CCHR International
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 14:16
The following information is the most accurate and documented data available on psychiatric drug usage. The information is from IQVia (formerly IMS Health), a company that provides information, services and technology for the healthcare industry. It is the largest vendor of U.S. physician prescribing data. The following data was taken from the IQVia Total Patient Tracker Database for 2020, extracted January 2021. To find out about the hundreds of drug regulatory agency warnings and documented side effects for any class of psychiatric drug listed on this page (i.e., ADHD Drugs, Antidepressants, Antipsychotics, etc.) click the hyperlinks listed below:
Drug Class: Age Group: Number of People:
All Psychiatric Drugs All Ages 76,940,157
0-5 Years 418,425
0-17 Years 6,155,852
Age Breakdown: 0-1 Years 85,003 2-3 Years 138,822 4-5 Years 215,120 6-12 Years 2,652,554 13-17 Years 3,188,966 18-24 Years 5,535,171 25-44 Years 20,455,212 45-64 Years 25,202,893 65 Years + 19,114,040
ADHD Drugs All Ages 9,585,203
0-5 Years 58,091
0-17 Years 3,155,441
Age Breakdown: 0-1 Years 310 2-3 Years 1,300 4-5 Years 57,010 6-12 Years 1,750,481 13-17 Years 1,409,438 18-24 Years 1,166,119 25-44 Years 3,242,762 45-64 Years 1,600,104 65 Years + 340,118
Antidepressants All Ages 45,204,771
0-5 Years 35,216
0-17 Years 2,154,118
Age Breakdown: 0-1 Years 7,811 2-3 Years 12,137 4-5 Years 18,911 6-12 Years 543,120 13-17 Years 1,605,375 18-24 Years 3,547,307 25-44 Years 12,839,606 45-64 Years 15,611,175 65 Years + 10,740,584
Antipsychotics All Ages 11,154,803
0-5 Years 30,632
0-17 Years 829,372
Age Breakdown: 0-1 Years 1,318 2-3 Years 7,873 4-5 Years 22,180 6-12 Years 304,754 13-17 Years 502,372 18-24 Years 1,057,823 25-44 Years 3,414,984 45-64 Years 3,563,164 65 Years + 2,170,963
Anti-anxiety Drugs All Ages 31,229,150
0-5 Years 233,125
0-17 Years 1,153,351
Age Breakdown: 0-1 Years 60,068 2-3 Years 89,453 4-5 Years 90,716 6-12 Years 357,976 13-17 Years 571,210 18-24 Years 1,591,219 25-44 Years 8,308,952 45-64 Years 11,340,444 65 Years + 8,487,756
Mood Stabilizers All Ages 21,863,616
0-5 Years 100,233
0-17 Years 794,715
Age Breakdown: 0-1 Years 21,593 2-3 Years 36,986 4-5 Years 50,206 6-12 Years 289,262 13-17 Years 419,221 18-24 Years 946,376 25-44 Years 4,859,812 45-64 Years 8,387,108 65 Years + 6,700,511
SOURCE: IQVia Total Patient Tracker (TPT) Database, Year 2020, Extracted January 2021.
DoD fails audit, sees Ukraine as 'teachable moment' in accountability
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 14:10
WASHINGTON '• As the Pentagon racked up its fifth comprehensive audit failure, its chief financial officer on Tuesday said Ukraine's fight against Russia offers a ''teachable moment'' for the U.S. military to accurately tally its weapons and property.
In a call with reporters to release the results of the audit, Defense Department Comptroller Mike McCord said he told Pentagon personnel to envision U.S. troops in the position of their Ukrainian counterparts '-- dependent on precise tracking of their arsenals.
''To me its a really great example of why it matters to get this sort of thing right, of counting inventory, knowing where it is and knowing when it is [arriving],'' McCord said.
''The process over many years,'' McCord said of the audit, ''should be helping us make sure that we don't have the kind of problems of having something on our records that doesn't exist in reality or having a having big discrepancies.''
Accurate inventories help the military avoid buying things it already has and ensure items are where troops need them, he noted.
The legally required audit has helped the Pentagon shore up gaps in cybersecurity, find lost inventory, and spurred it to consolidate and modernize its accounting systems. This year, the Defense Logistics Agency, which manages millions of items, accomplished its first complete inventory, McCord said.
But he added that the DoD is still struggling with how it values its inventory and how to account for government property that's in the possession of contractors '• particularly with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which is mostly built using a government-owned plant run by Lockheed Martin.
What did the audit find?The audit, which covered the department's $3.5 trillion in assets and $3.7 trillion in liabilities, involved 1,600 auditors conducting 220 in-person site visits and 750 virtual site visits. The Pentagon inspector general and independent public accounting firms performed the audit, which was expected to cost $218 million this year.
The 27 individual audits that comprise the effort yielded nine clean opinions, one modified opinion and disclaimers for the rest, which McCord said was on par with last year's results. The number of the DoD's material weaknesses also stayed steady at 28.
''I would say we failed to get an 'A,' '' McCord said. ''I would not say that we flunked. The process is important for us to do, and it is making us get better. It is not making us get better as fast as we want.''
The Pentagon launched its first-ever independent financial audit in 2017 and has yet to pass one. Observers have said that process could mirror the 10-year climb the Department of Homeland Security took, and achieve a clean audit in 2027.
McCord said he and other Pentagon leaders would have preferred to see more progress this year, but noted the department has addressed most of the easier problems, leaving successive audits to spotlight more difficult ones.
McCord credited the DoD's broader use of Advana, its big-data platform for advanced analytics and the growing use of automated processes, or bots. More than half of its 607 bots are deployed to perform financial management processes.
Both represent an ''undeniable trend,'' but because leaders and the workforce may be unfamiliar with them, they're also a ''cultural issue'' for the DoD to overcome, he said.
Stephen Losey contributed to this report.
Joe Gould is the senior Pentagon reporter for Defense News, covering the intersection of national security policy, politics and the defense industry. He served previously as Congress reporter.
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Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against State Health Dept for Secretly Installing Google Covid Tracing App on Phones - Activist Post
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 14:09
Home Liberty November 16, 2022
By B.N. Frank
Earlier this week, Google settled its ''Location History'' lawsuit with 40 states' attorneys general. Today the company is being sued for more covert data collection along with the Massachusetts Department of Health.
From Reclaim the Net:
Google is sued for auto-installing Covid ''spyware'' on people's phonesUsers woke up to find Covid tracing tech on their device without their consent.
By Didi Rankovic
A class action lawsuit has been filed against the US state of Massachusetts for what the plaintiffs claim is a case of covert mass surveillance carried out via ''Covid spyware'' installed on over one million phones.
The complaint asks for declaratory and injunctive relief (a bid to legally compel the defendants to fulfill their mandatory duties) and nominative damages, and was filed on November 14, 2022, by the New Civil Liberties Alliance (NCLA) non-profit.
We obtained a copy of the complaint for you here.
It names the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and Commissioner Margret Cooke as the defendants.
The US District Court for the District of Massachusetts will consider the case.
The complaint consists of nine counts against the DPH, citing violations of Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights (protections against unlawful searches, and rights pertaining to criminal and civil legal proceedings).
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'They Will Torture Me to Death': Crypto Pioneer 'Drowns' Hours After Tweet on Discovering CIA Pedo Ring - The Free Thought Project
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 14:09
Puerto Rico '-- "CIA and Mossad and pedo elite are running some kind of sex trafficking entrapment blackmail ring out of Puerto Rico and Caribbean islands. They are going to frame me with a laptop planted by my ex gf who was a spy. They will torture me to death." These were the last words put on the internet by Nikolai Mushegian, the co-founder of the highly successful cryptocurrency lending platform MakerDAO and a major player in the cryptocurrency community.
After throwing this shocking statement out there into the digital ether, Mushegian would die a horrible death. His body would be discovered at Condado beach in San Juan after being dragged over the rocks and sand by strong undercurrents.
To be clear, Condado beach is one of the world's most dangerous beaches and known for its strong undercurrents. Just last year, eight people died while swimming at this picturesque San Juan location. None of those eight people, however, predicted they were about to be tortured to death by the CIA.
As well as being the co-founder of the cryptocurrency lending platform MakerDAO, Mushegian also founded the decentralized Dai stablecoin. According to Cointelegraph, Mushegian was an important figure in the cryptocurrency community, contributing to multiple industry projects, with some referring to him as a ''Dai architect.'' The 29-year-old crypto developer is known for his work with MakerDAO forks Rico and Rai, as well as the proof-of-stake blockchain network BitShares. Mushegian is also a co-founder of the automated market maker Balancer.
Mushegian was also a charitable figure, donating over $1 million to his alma mater Carnegie Mellon in 2020 to support research into decentralized technology.
MakerDAO co-founder, Rune Christensen took to Twitter after his passing, saying that Mushegian "was one of the only people in the early days of Ethereum and smart contracts who was able to predict the possibility of smart contract hacks and invented the security-oriented approach to smart contract design we know today. Maker would have been toast without him."
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Just days before his death, Coinbase announced a $1.6 billion partnership with MakerDAO to become a custodian of the stablecoin USD Coin, of which MakerDAO is the largest single holder in the world.
Known as a "genius" in the industry, Mushegian was not one to delve into conspiracy theories. Outside of this single tweet about child trafficking on the day he died, a search of his Twitter page revealed that Mushegian had never tweeted about elite pedophilia before '-- making this tweet especially credible.
As for the claims of CIA and Mossad child sex trafficking, it's not very far-fetched. According to recent analyses, almost 30 percent of the gross domestic product of Puerto Rico is generated from its "clandestine economy" of organized crime. One of the main products of this underground market is child sex trafficking.
According to a study by the Encyclopedia of Puerto Rico, child exploitation in Puerto Rico takes on many forms like prostitution and other forms of sexual exploitation, such as pornography, sex tourism, arranged marriages, begging and even sales of organs.
Given the CIA's very recent history of covering up child rape in their own ranks, the idea of them working with another organization like Mossad '-- with alleged ties to Jeffrey Epstein '-- to traffic in children, is not some outlandish thought.
Unfortunately, however, the "investigation" carried out by the San Juan Homicide Division has already ruled Mushegian's death an accidental drowning. There will be no further inquiry as to why this frequent beachgoer, who could swim, suddenly drowned one morning, hours after claiming he discovered a CIA child sex trafficking ring in his own backyard.
Paris overtakes London as Europe's most valuable stock market
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 14:08
According to Bloomberg data, Paris has taken top spot for the first time since records began in 2003. The aggregate value of the shares of its companies has been boosted by currency movements and the demand for French luxury brands by Chinese shoppers.
The combined value of British shares is now around $2.821trn, while France's are worth around $2.823trn, Bloomberg calculations show. In 2016, UK stocks were collectively worth $1.5trn more than France.
Seismic shift from UK to global equity funds in UK portfolios
A weakening economy has meant the UK stock market has long been out of favour. However, this year has been worse due to the energy crisis, double-digit inflation and the economic turbulence brought on by former prime minister Liz Truss's Mini Budget.
While many of Britain's blue-chip companies have been protected from the instability in the UK by their international market exposure, smaller businesses, particularly those consumer-focused, have been severely impacted.
The FTSE 250 index, which monitors mid-cap companies, has plummeted 17% this year compared to the FTSE 100 index's 0.4% decline. Retailers have taken a beating, with Ocado Group and JD Sports seeing their stock prices drop by more than 40% in 2022.
OBR warns Hunt of £70bn increase in UK government borrowing - reports
The news comes after Michael Saunders, a former Bank of England policy maker, told Bloomberg TV on Monday (14 November), that the UK economy had been "permanently damaged" by Brexit.
"The need for tax rises and spending cuts wouldn't be there if Brexit had not reduced the economy's potential output so much," he said.
Meat and dairy set to banned at University of Stirling after student union vote
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 14:02
(C) PETER JOLLY/NORTHPIX The countryside campaign group says the decision is an 'illogical' snub for farmers in Scotland - PETER JOLLY/NORTHPIX Meat and dairy products are set to be banned on a university campus after students voted to go vegan.
Stirling University's students union backed a move towards a plant-based menu at the three food outlets it controls, with activists to demand that the policy is adopted across the entire institution.
The campaign group Animal Rebellion, which has links to Extinction Rebellion, said the move was a UK-first and would help ''address the climate and ecological emergencies'' due to emissions linked to farming.
However, the Countryside Alliance branded it an ''illogical'' snub to Scottish farmers and called on the university to intervene to ensure a more democratic process. Only around 100 of the university's 17,000 students took part in the vote.
''Obviously this is an attack on freedom of choice imposed by a tiny number of students on the wider student body,'' Mo Metcalf-Fisher, spokesman for the Countryside Alliance, said.
''Stirling's students' union would be much better off sourcing sustainable local meat and dairy produce from Scottish farmers instead. How can an avocado flown in from South America have eco-superiority over a piece of grass fed beef from a local farm?
''Stirling University should demonstrate their support for Scottish farmers by ensuring they continue to supply meat and dairy, irrespective of what its students' union decide to do.''
The university said that the vote would only affect outlets run by the students union and that it remained committed to offering ''choice'' at the catering facilities it controlled.
Talks with universityHowever, Imogen Robertson, a 21-year-old student at Stirling, said campaigners would be seeking talks with the university about imposing the meat and dairy ban across the campus.
''We won't be shying away from having the difficult conversations around the need for transitioning to a plant-based food system,'' she said.
''We are planning to meet and discuss our campaign with the university itself and to push for the transition to plant-based catering to go further than just the student union.
''We know there is a lot of work to do but are prepared to work with all parties to facilitate this UK-first being a reality.''
The motion backed by students calls for the 50 per cent of products at the union to be plant-based by September next year, rising to 100 per cent by 2025.
A spokesman for the union said the move would have ''a commercial implication'' and that further scrutiny of the plan was needed. However, he said he was confident that ''given the current policy we will be able to work positively with the motion's direction as directed by our members.''
University of EdinburghIn 2020, students at the University of Edinburgh rejected a ban on selling beef on campus, with 58 per cent of around 6,000 students voting against the proposal.
A spokesman for the University of Stirling said: ''We are proud of the wide range of catering options we offer on campus, which includes the V-go vegan deli bar, and are committed to providing a choice on campus.
''This is a matter for the Students' Union and doesn't impact the University's other catering options.''
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FDA-approved cholesterol medicine may help prevent antibiotic resistance
Wed, 16 Nov 2022 15:58
Graphical abstract. Credit: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces (2022). DOI: 10.1021/acsami.2c14894
Antimicrobial resistance, including bacteria that have evolved to defy antibiotics, is one of the top 10 global public health threats humanity faces, according to the World Health Organization. A Penn State-led multidisciplinary collaboration may have found a solution in cholestyramine, an oral drug already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to reduce cholesterol levels and remove bile acids associated with liver diseases.
The researchers report the mechanism by which the drug eradicates off-target daptomycin (DAP)'--a last resort intravenous (IV) antibiotic used to treat multidrug resistant bacteria'--in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.
"Although DAP is given intravenously, about 5''10% ends up in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, where opportunistic bacteria can develop resistance without therapeutic gain," said corresponding author Amir Sheikhi, assistant professor of chemical engineering at Penn State. "Inactivating DAP in the intestines without reducing DAP plasma concentrations would enable the IV use of DAP to eliminate bacteria in the infection sites without driving resistance in the GI tract populations."
Co-author Andrew Read, Evan Pugh Professor of Biology and Entomology and Eberly Professor of Biotechnology in the Eberly College of Science and the College of Agricultural Sciences, led a team that previously demonstrated cholestyramine administered concurrently with DAP treatment substantially prevented antibiotic resistance in mice by removing the DAP, but did not reveal the mechanism.
"In the previous work, we found that 84% of the mice who received cholestyramine with DAP treatment did not develop antibiotic resistance," said Read, who also directs the Penn State Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences. "That's an extremely promising result, but we needed to know why. In this paper, we conducted extensive, systematic studies to uncover the mechanism."
The antibiotic daptomycin (red and black) is self-assembled. It attaches to the ion exchange biomaterial (purple and black), where it attaches to the surface and is reassembled inside. The antibiotic is then harmless to the gut's existing bacteria. Credit: Amir Sheikhi
Using in vitro experiments, imaging and mathematical analyses, the researchers found that cholestyramine, an ion exchange biomaterial (IXB), electrostatically attracts the negatively charged antibiotic to its surface. DAP is an amphiphilic molecule, meaning that it contains groups that can combine with water and groups that combine with lipids or fats, which results in molecular self-assembly.
Self-assembled DAP then adsorbs to the IXB, de-assembles and diffuses into the IXB within hours. If DAP were a sword that the off-target gut bacteria wanted to avoid, the IXB essentially melts it down and forges it into jewelry. The IXB wears it, but the gut bacteria no longer find it threatening and have no need to develop resistance.
"The captured DAP pass through the body together with the IXB," Sheikhi said. "It takes about four hours for the IXB to reach its maximum DAP removal capacity, and it can remove nearly 100% of DAP."
The researchers also found that the IXB maximum capacity to remove DAP was 200% more than the theoretical level of removal, where one DAP molecule could be removed per active site of IXB. The beyond-expected removal capacity supports their finding that DAP self-assembles, according to Sheikhi. The self-assembly produces aggregates in aqueous solutions, so more than one DAP molecule can be removed per active site of IXB.
"This work lays the foundations for optimizing the use of IXBs, such as cholestyramine, as adjuvant therapy to prevent DAP resistance, as well as designing next-generation biomaterials that may combat the emergence of antimicrobial resistance in the GI tract," Sheikhi said. "Antibiotic development costs significant time and money, only to eventually be resisted. Our new understanding could help us keep our current antibiotics working properly."
The researchers plan to continue their work, with sights set on eventually clinically testing the effectiveness of IXBs for DAP removal in humans. Sheikhi said they are also inviting other collaborators interested in their work to contact them.
"This is a serious challenge that cannot be addressed by a single person in a single field," Sheikhi said. "The next pandemic might be caused by microbial resistance. To innovate viable solutions, we need everyone's input."
More information: Shang-Lin Yeh et al, Ion Exchange Biomaterials to Capture Daptomycin and Prevent Resistance Evolution in Off-Target Bacterial Populations, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces (2022). DOI: 10.1021/acsami.2c14894
Journal information: ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Provided by Pennsylvania State University
The Hidden Meaning Behind Your Dog's Behaviors '' History A2Z
Wed, 16 Nov 2022 14:36
Licking Themselves It's a known fact that dogs, like most animals, lick themselves to clean their bodies. If your dog gets messy, there's a good chance that it'll lick himself clean.
Getty Images Photo by Andia But licking can also indicate pain. If a dog licks its legs and paws a lot, particularly near the joints (common in dogs with arthritis) you should check it out at the vet to make sure everything is okay.
Long Legs When your dog gets up on his hind legs, it can have a number of meanings. One of these is a sign of affection. Like humans, sometimes they just want to hug you.
Getty Images Photo by Ernst Haas But, if they get up on their hind legs while interacting with other dogs it can be a sign that they're feeling playful. If they aren't growling or acting aggressively, then this is just their way of playing.
Chewing on the Furniture Doesn't Mean They're Hungry Just like growing children, puppies will want to chew on toys and other objects in order to relieve the pain of growing teeth. But, if your pet is always chewing the furniture and they aren't a puppy anymore, this could be a sign of something else. It can be a sign that they aren't getting enough physical activity and need a way to get their energy out.
Shutterstock You can start by getting them out of the house for a walk. While this won't solve everything, it's a good starting point. You can usually tell when your dog isn't getting enough exercise and this is one telltale sign.
Why Dogs Bark Barking has several purposes and it depends on the situation, how the dog barks, and what's in their environment. If a dog is barking loud and frequently, it could indicate a degree of urgency. They may be sensing danger approaching and are trying to let you know.
Shutterstock If a dog is barking short and soft barks, they might want you to play with them. If a dog barks loudly then it could be a sign that they're in pain.
Not Always Fetch Time There are several theories as to why your dog sometimes brings you a toy. One of them says that they think of you as their alpha and they want to gain your respect. Another theory says that it's your dog's way of showing his trust in you, by bringing you its most prized possession.
Shutterstock It can also mean that are happy to see you. In this case, throwing the object away can hurt the dog's feelings. So the next time your dog brings you a toy, try holding on to it to see if it makes your dog happy.
Yawning Doesn't Only Express Exhaustion While humans yawn only when they feel tired or sometimes bored, it's not the same way for dogs. One reason could be that they feel safe around you and trust you. In nature, animals yawn as a sign of submission. When your dog yawns 15 times, you can be sure that they're very relaxed. But, yawning also may indicate anticipation or stress.
Getty Images Photo by Phil Walter When your dog is waiting in the vet's office, he may yawn repeatedly as a way to deal with nervousness. Dogs may also yawn before going on a walk, as a way to control their enthusiasm.
Wiggling Like a Caterpillar If you think your dog looks happy when it gets into a good wiggle, kicking its legs up in the air while wiggling around on its back, well you're right! At least, most of the time.
Getty Images Photo By LittleCityLifestylePhotography Sometimes your dog might be excessively wiggling as if to reach an itch or another irritation. Or sometimes, this might be their way to get your attention. Why not stop what you're doing for a few minutes and give them attention?
Looking at You Before You Leave One thing that makes owners particularly sad when they leave is the look on their dog's face as they walk out.
Getty Images Photo by Auscape Oftentimes, the dog will have a calm look on its face. Dog owners, don't be mistaken, their calmness isn't a sign of sadness. It shows that while they're sad you're leaving, they know you will be back. You have gained their trust and they are calm because they know they can count on you to return later on.
Why Your Dog Paces Back and Forth If your dog paces back and forth, this can be for a number of reasons. Your dog may be bored, nervous, or excited. Like humans, they also pace around the room. If your dog is pacing around you in circles, it can be a sign that they want to play with you. They want to know whether you are open to playing.
Shutterstock When two dogs meet, it's common that they will chase each other. This isn't something threatening or something to fear, it's just their way of playing.
Pointing Its Snout When a dog freezes up and points its snout toward something specific, this is called pointing. They might also lift one of their front paws while doing this. Dogs bred for hunting do this often, but also every dog does it at times.
Getty Images Photo by ahloch Veterinarian Dr. Ellen Vindell told Vet Street, ''dogs are just dogs, and there are certain behaviors that probably any dog that's a dog can do'.... You'll see a sporting dog who circles like a herding dog, and you'll get some herding dogs who point.''
Yawning Can Be a Sign Of Discomfort While yawning can be a sign that your dog feels comfortable, it can also express something completely different. If your dog is yawning a lot in public, it's not a sign that they're tired and ready for their afternoon nap. It can actually express that they feel uncomfortable and anxious.
Shutterstock If you're in an unfamiliar place and you notice your dog doing this, stay aware of this so that you can be there to comfort your dog and give it some love.
Tilting Their Head to the Side A lot of people speak to their dogs in a higher pitch. When you're talking to your dog in your ''doggie'' voice they sometimes tilt their head to the side as if to understand what you're saying. Dogs are very good at reading and responding to your body language and vocal cues.
Alamy Stock Photo They're capable of recognizing different words so it's possible that they are listening for words and inflections they associate with fun activities like a treat, walk, or outside. Some experts believe that dogs tilt their heads to the side in order to adjust their outer ears to better pinpoint the noise.
Sniffing the Air Dogs use their noses for several purposes. In fact, dogs have 220 million olfactory receptors while humans have only 5 million. Dogs are dominated by their noses and can smell at least 1,000 times better than humans. When they are sniffing the air, it could be a sign that they sense danger approaching or that they're trying to track prey.
Getty Images Photo by Auscape During this, they will remain completely still. They stay absolutely silent so that their prey won't see them. Dogs are able to smell the difference between individuals '-- both dogs and people. They can smell the difference between family members, even identical twins!
Flipping Their Tongues Up Means They're Sorry When a dog feels like they've done something wrong, it'll stick its tongue out and flip it up as a way of apologizing. They know that they did something wrong and are apologetic.
Shutterstock When they do this, they may also try and put on an innocent face because they know that their owners are suckers for their cute faces. They'll do this even when they do something like peeing on the floor.
Stretching Unlike humans, dogs don't only stretch after waking up from a nap or in order to stretch out their muscles. Rather, stretching can also symbolize affection and love for somebody.
Getty Images Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket When you come home and your dog is stretching, that doesn't mean that they were sleeping. They are showing you that they're excited to see you so give them some love and affection in return.
Exposing Their Belly Is a Sign of Respect When a dog exposes its belly to you, it shows that it respects you and is being submissive. It might also be a sign that he wants to play with you. You can encourage them to continue this behavior by rubbing their belly.
Getty Images Photo by BSIP If you do rub their belly, then they'll want to continue this behavior as they've learned that you are going to give them a nice massage every time they do this. But, a dog can also roll on its back when they're being attacked by another animal.
Tucking Their Tail When your dog is in distress, it may tuck its tail between its legs. Dogs do this when they are feeling uncertain, nervous, scared, guilty, or ashamed. It's usually not a good sign.
Getty Images photo by f8grapher If you observe your dog doing this, you should comfort it and make it feel safe. You can do this by using pets and a soft voice. Doggie treats can also do the trick.
Why a Dog Raises Its Paws When your dog raises their paws, it can mean that they want something from you or they want to play. Mostly puppies and younger dogs exhibit this behavior.
Getty Images Photo by Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post When a puppy wants to eat, it will raise its paws to touch its mother. If your puppy does that to you, it can mean that they want some love and affection from you.
Their Tails Say as Much as Their Eyes You probably know this by now, but when a dog wags its tails, it's a sign of extreme happiness and excitement. But if they hang their tail down while wagging it, it can be a show of submissiveness.
Getty Images Photo by Rene Johnston It can also be a sign that they are confused, sad, or unwell. When they wag their tail high it can show that they're ready to play and are very alert. Their tail says almost as much as their eyes do.
Dragging Its Bum If you've seen your dog dragging its bum across the floor, you might think it looks pretty funny. But actually, this is a cause for concern. This behavior is known as scooting and is usually because your dog has an impacted anal sac that they are trying to release. Some breeds are impacted by this more than others.
Getty Images photo by marcoventuriniautieri It is very uncomfortable for the dog when it happens and you should get your dog to the vet ASAP so that they can drain the organ.
Why Your Dog Lays on Your Feet Dogs love laying right on their owners' feet whether you are sitting at dinner or watching television on the couch. This sweet sign shows your dog's loyalty and desire to protect you. They want to be as close to you as possible. And if you try and get up, they won't have a problem with letting you move.
Shutterstock This behavior is another one that has been passed down from their ancestors. Dogs love to sleep with their pack. If you are a good and trusting caregiver, then the dog will consider you as their family. They also consider you the leader of their pack.
Lean on Me Does your dog ever lean on you when you're hanging around? While you may not even notice that they are leaning some of their body weight against you, this is a sign that they're hugging you. It's not that they're lazy and can't stand up on their own but it's their way of connecting with you.
Getty Images Photo by Chris Carroll Next time you notice your dog doing this, don't nudge them off of you. This can be hurtful. Instead, you should allow them to express their affection for you.
Why They Tackle You to the Floor Does your dog tackle you to the floor right when you walk through the door? This isn't their way of annoying you or trying to get your attention. They are just so happy to see the person they love the most in the world.
Getty Images Photo by Win McNamee They've been waiting around the house all day for you to get back from work and are so happy that you are finally home! Just like humans jump for joy or embrace each other with big hugs, dogs also jump for joy. Jumping in other situations may be a sign of something less joyous, like your dog trying to assert dominance over you.
Flicking Their Ears When a dog flicks their ears, it means that they're listening. This is actually what most animals do to listen. When they hear a sign which isn't familiar to them and they're trying to figure out what it is, this is how they react.
Getty Images Photo By Education Images/UIG If you see your dog flicking their ears, let them figure out for a second what it is that they're listening to. It's also adorable for you to see your dog being so observant and inquisitive.
Licking Themselves It's a known fact that dogs, like most animals, lick themselves to clean their bodies. If your dog gets messy, there's a good chance that it'll lick himself clean.
Getty Images Photo by Andia But licking can also indicate pain. If a dog licks its legs and paws a lot, particularly near the joints (common in dogs with arthritis) you should check it out at the vet to make sure everything is okay.
Wrinkling Their Muzzle Dogs have different ways of showing their varying moods. Of course, not all of them are positive. When a dog wrinkles their muzzle, it is most likely a sign of them being aggressive.
Getty Images Photo by BSIP If they show their teeth and snarl, you should take this as a sign that you need to remove them from the situation they are in. These kinds of actions can mean that your dog is prepared to attack if they feel it's necessary.
Playing Detective Have you ever been on a walk with your dog when they suddenly stop dead in their tracks and put their foot up in the air? While you may think that they stepped on something and hurt themselves, this behavior is completely normal. What they are doing is actually trying to figure something out that caught their attention.
Alamy Stock Photo It's a sign that their brains are working. While lifting their paw they might also start to sniff like crazy. So, you can just chalk this behavior up to your dog being Inspector Gadget.
Straightening Their Tail When a dog sticks their tail straight in the air, it can be a show of confidence or excitement. Some dogs do this when they meet other animals or dogs. If their tail stays erect and is a little shaky, it is a sign that they expect a challenge.
Shutterstock When a dog feels happy, content, and loved, its tail is usually more leveled with its body. But if their tail is low or between their legs, it could mean that they feel insecure.
The Cute Side Tongue Means Something When a dog has his tongue hanging out of his mouth on one side, it's a sign that he feels calm and happy. You may often see your dog like this after going for a walk or playing fetch. But, if your dog has his tongue to the side more often than not, it can be a reason to worry.
Shutterstock This condition may be the ''hanging tongue syndrome.'' This is usually the case with breeds with flattened noses like boxers or bulldogs. If your dog is like this, get them to the vet.
Why Do Dogs Dig up the Yard? No, he's not just evil and trying to ruin the new flower bed you've planted. Digging for dogs is an instinctual activity written deep in their DNA, especially in terrier breeds. Dogs usually dig in the yard to hide or uncover their valuables, like toys or bones. Feral dogs may dig holes to uncover prey under the ground in tunnel systems.
Getty Images Photo by Arterra They also bury their dead young much like humans. If you want your dog to stop this behavior then you'll want to properly train them. Otherwise, they'll continue this innate behavior.
The Reason for Biting Being bit by a dog isn't a pleasant experience. But actually, a bite can indicate affection and that the pup wants to play. When dogs play together there's often a lot of biting involved. There is nothing aggressive about this behavior.
Getty Images Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto A dog will bite a person as a way of communicating their current state of mind. The dog could be reacting in aggression, fear, or nervousness. There are, however, ways to prevent a dog bite from ever happening if you stay in tune with the dog's body language.
If They Sleep With You, They Love You Does your four-legged friend prefer to sleep with you instead of their dog bed? For dogs, this behavior is one that has been passed down from their ancestors who slept together for warmth and security. Your dog wants to feel close to you, protected, and warm. It also is a sign that your dog adores you and wants to be close to you at night.
Getty Images Photo by Classen/ullstein bild Your dog can also make you feel more loved and protected while you are sleeping, thus positively impacting your sleep.
Paw Five You probably don't appreciate being slapped by another human '-- most likely, that person is upset with you. If your dog slaps you with his paw, this isn't exactly a sign that he's angry with you. Actually, it can be his way of trying to get your attention.
Getty Images Photo by Charles McQuillan However, a dog slapping another dog is a different story entirely. It is a sign of trust, that the dog trusts the other. It's basically how humans pat each other on the back, which is a friendly or congratulatory gesture.
After Meal Cuddles Does your dog come to cuddle you after eating? Just like sleeping in your bed at night, this could be another sign of their love for you. After a meal, just like many humans, dogs want to take a good nap. And, they want to be near their favorite person when they do it.
Getty Images Photo by Suzanne Kreiter/The Boston Globe Actually, this is an intense way for canines to express their adoration of their favorite human, you! Just a tip, if your dog tends to do this, watch what you feed them. You don't want any gas passing while they're cuddling up against you.
Why Your Dog Pants No, panting doesn't mean that your dog is out of breath or about to have a heart attack. Actually, this is the way that dogs cool off when they're overheating. Because they aren't able to sweat like humans, this is their own way of lowering their body temperature.
Getty Images Photo by Boris Roessler/picture alliance If you see your dog panting, it's a good time to give them water. Another reason for panting may be that your dog is trying to alleviate pain or stress. Most dogs pant on the reg, but it's important to monitor this and make sure they have all their needs being met.
Eye Movements In some aspects, dogs are very similar to humans in how they relay their emotions. Much like humans, they show a lot of their emotions in their eyes. When they're sad or tired, they look down to the ground. When they're excited, they open their eyes wide open and look around excitedly.
Getty Images Photo by Christopher Furlong When they want something, they'll look at you and perhaps raise their eyebrows as if they're asking you a question. For a lot of dogs, you can tell how they're feeling by looking at their eyes rather than at their tail.
Why Your Puppy Bows A dog bows for several reasons. The way that they bow is by lowering their heads and keeping their body erect. Most of the time, it is a sign that they want to play. They might add in swinging hips or start wagging their tails in a wild and excited manner.
Shutterstock This is the most common sign your dog will give you when they want to play. Dog trainers call this the ''play bow.''
Walking in Circles Before Lying Down Sometimes your dog may walk in circles before they lay down. If you're wondering why they do this, it actually is a habit that perhaps their wolf ancestors passed down to them. Wolves do this before they lay down in order to flatten leaves or debris that have made their resting spot uncomfortable.
Getty Images Photo by Education Images While your dog probably doesn't have any debris lying around their dog bed or kitchen floor, they seem to have retained this habit and it's quite funny to watch them do it.
The Meaning of Howling Some people may try to quiet their dogs when they howl but there's a reason for your dog doing this. This is a dog's way of yelling. Just like yelling is a way for humans to release any angry feelings they have inside, dogs do the same thing by howling.
Getty Images Photo by Matt Cardy Owners assume that dogs howl in order to assert their dominance but in reality, they are doing so because it feels good for them to do it.
Hugging With Their Eyes If your dog gives you puppy eyes, then this is a really good sign. Most dog owners think that puppy eyes are a sign that their dog is trying to get their attention by being cute. But actually, puppy eyes are a show of their affection for you and their way of hugging you.
Shutterstock This adorable look of innocence is a sign that they adore you and are looking for you to hug or kiss them. If your dog looks straight into your eyes and stares at you, you should be very happy because it shows that your dog is crazy about you!
Yowling While you may think your dog is trying to yodel, this may be your dog trying to communicate with you. In fact, many owners swear that their dogs can speak to them.
Getty Images Photo by Matej Divizna A writer for an animal journal comments about his dog's yowling: ''Our German Shepherd rescue, the sweetest dog we have ever owned (unless you happen to be a cat), is 9. She ' talks ' about everything! Grumbles, over being denied a cat lunch, has 5-minute conversations over going out for a walk, exchanges pleasantries (you would swear) over how happy she is to see someone.''
Eating Poop It's extremely disgusting, but it's not that uncommon. When a dog starts eating its own or other dogs' feces (also called coprophagia), it usually comes down to one of two things; either it is a behavior that can be corrected through training, or it is a sign of malnutrition.
Shutterstock The best thing to do is to take your dog to the vet if it starts doing this too often. If your vet rules out any nutrient deficiency or medical reason, then it's time to go to a trainer to help your dog break the habit.
Chasing Their Tail Tail-chasing, in most cases, is simply a sign of playfulness, but keep an eye out if your dog starts doing this excessively. It might mean there's a health or behavioral issue behind it; for example, if your dog chews at his tail when he catches it, then he might have skin allergies or anal glands that need to be emptied at the vet.
Shutterstock If your dog starts chasing its tail all the time and in an obsessive manner, it may be a sign of OCD. Yes, this affects animals, too. You're better off checking with your vet, just to be on the safe side.
Licking People When your pup licks you it's usually to say "I love you", or to seek out your attention. Also, you can taste pretty good; don't forget we have nutrients and minerals in our skin.
Shutterstock If the licking becomes too intense, training your dog to not do this can be done with basic training. The best way to go about this is to ignore your dog when it licks you and reward it with a treat when he stops. Oh and that myth about dogs' saliva being cleaner than humans'? Just a myth.
When Dogs Hump Humping is a very common and natural behavior in dogs. And contrary to what most people may think, it is not always sexual in nature, or a dominance thing, for that matter. Dogs can hump other dogs, objects, or people, and it's usually a playful activity for them.
Shutterstock Unless the other dog is bothered by the humping, there's really no harm in them doing this. Objects, not really a problem unless it bothers the owner, and if the humping is with people, then you might want to break the habit for other peoples' sake.
Sniffing Other Dogs' Butts You've surely heard the line, "Can you imagine if people greeted each other like that?", amongst your dog-owning friends when referring to dogs' butt-sniffing. Well, there's obviously a reason behind this; since a dog's sense of smell is at least 10,000 better than a human's, they use their nose to learn about the world around them.
Shutterstock Dogs learn about each other by sniffing each others' butts; they can learn about the other dog's gender, reproductive status, temperament, diet, and more.
Dog Squinting or Blinking Surely, you've been emotionally manipulated or just brought to a puddle of "awww" from the cuteness of seeing your dog with that slight squint, looking straight at you. When your dog squints or blinks, it usually means he's looking to get your attention in order to spend some quality time with you.
Shutterstock If your dog starts doing this often, maybe you're spending too much time apart and you need to make some more time for your fluffy friend.
Open Mouth, Relaxed Tail, and High Ears Many people wonder when is the best time to approach a dog. Well, when you see one with an open mouth, a relaxed tail, and ears pointing straight up, that's when.
Getty Images photo by Fernando Corales / EyeEm When a dog is like this, it means they are in a neutral and relaxed state and they feel safe in their current environment. So if you want to get some cuddles in, this might be a good time!
Straight Tail and Ears Forward You've probably seen your dog like this many times; with his tail straight and his ears pointing forward. Just like you would assume, the ears are forward because they're trying to get a better listen to what's going on.
Getty Images Photo by SVPhilon This behavior means something's got your dog's attention; they're curious about something and are ready to go investigate. There is a new noise or smell in the environment that fascinates them.
Dead Dog Pose The internet has been flooded bu cute and funny pictures of people's dogs in the 'dead bug' pose. You know, when your dog basically looks like a dead bug, with its limbs sticking up in the air. But unlike a dead bug, your dog probably has a relaxed face, almost with a content little smirk.
Shutterstock This is because when a dog is lying in this position, it means it is submissive and vulnerable and feels safe in its environment. Not all dogs can sleep like this, so when they do it usually means they are a bit more laid back and independent in character.
Sleeping on Their Side Many dogs sleep on their sides when taking a nap, but they don't usually stay in this position for long, not for an entire night's sleep, at least. This is because lying on their side means that, in case of a sudden threat, it will take them longer to stand up and get in a defense position.
Shutterstock So, if your dog sleeps like this or even naps like this, it most likely means they are a very happy and carefree dog, with complete trust in its 'pack'.
The 'Superman' Pose This is one of the cutest poses a dog can be in; the superman pose. Surely your dog has sometimes come back from a long walk or a run or some very energetic playtime with other dog buddies and has completely crashed, lying on its belly, limbs sprawled out on the floor. This basically means that your dog has finally reached the point of exhaustion.
Getty Images photo by Krit of Studio OMG Puppies do this a lot since it makes it easier for them to quickly pop back up into a standing position and go back to playing for another 10 hours!
The 'Passed Out' Pose As opposed to the 'dead bug' pose, there is also another position that looks like your dog is passed out. But unlike the dead bug position, which means your dog is comfortable and in cloud nine, this pose may mean your dog is overheating and is quickly trying to cool off.
Alamy Stock Photo So, how do you recognize this pose? If a dog's paws are swung across its chest, it's better to just leave them alone and let them get their rest! They'll find a way to cool off alone!
The Belly Curl This pose might look adorably cute, but it actually means that your dog is not getting a good night's sleep when it lies like this. We call this "the belly curl".
Shutterstock The belly curl is when your dog sleeps on its belly with its paws underneath or out to the sides, and dogs can't reach REM sleep because their muscles aren't completely relaxed. Dogs with a more gentle and shy personality often sleep like this.
Curled Up Like a Fox Another adorable position is when a dog completely curls up like a little fox. When your dog's paws are underneath its body and the tail is wrapped around, reaching their face, this usually means they're cold.
Shutterstock They assume this position because it helps them keep in as much body heat as possible. So if you see your dog sleeping like this at home, just throw a little blankie on them.
Dogs Sleeping Back to Back We've domesticated dogs so much that we often forget where they came from, and the fact that they're 'pack' animals. We're reminded of this every time we see two dogs getting along or exhibiting 'pack' behaviors around each other. For example, when they sleep back to back.
Shutterstock Apart from being incredibly cute, this is something a dog will only do with another member of what they consider to be their 'pack', a dog they completely trust.
When Your Dog Brings You a Gift Just like this adorable little french bulldog in the picture below, we're sure your dog has brought you shoes, gifts, and, in less desirable situations, a dead animal, once or twice at least. If your dog does this, take it as the utmost sign of respect and reverence - they're actually trying to make you happy by gifting you something! How cute is that?!
Shutterstock Now you know, next time your dog struts proudly into the room with a dead animal in its mouth, just try and hide the grossed-out face and smile. Unless, of course, it's the neighbor's cat.
The Post-Bath Boost of Energy Some dogs actually enjoy getting a bath, but it's definitely the exception to the rule. Usually, dogs can't wait to get out of the bath! When your dog starts running like a mad animal after getting a bath, this obviously means they're not too fond of it.
Getty Images photo by Yellow Dog Productions Dogs will also do this because being wet is an uncomfortable sensation to them, and they just want to dry off as quickly as possible and get their 'smell' back.
When Your Dog Stays By Your Side If you've ever owned a dog (or had kids), it's safe to say you know the term 'invasion of privacy' all too well. But just remember, whenever you get annoyed because your dog is invading your personal space, like following you to the toilet and just standing there, it just means they want to be close to you.
Getty Images photo by Carol Yepes Dogs are pack animals, and pack animals like to stay close to their pack!
When Your Dog Shows Empathy Whenever you see your dog showing empathy, it means exactly that: they feel empathetic. Dogs can sense when there are 'strange' feelings in the air, especially when those feelings are anger or sadness. And when your dog senses you're upset, they most likely will want to comfort you in any way they can.
Getty Images Photo by Deborah Pendell If you're feeling down and your dog is next to you, looking at you, licking you, or just kindly resting his head or his paw on you, they are just simply letting you know that they are there for you.
Dogs Eating Grass Eating grass is a pretty common behavior in dogs. Unfortunately, this usually means that their diet is lacking a specific nutrient, or they are simply trying to digest their food better (grass helps with this since it is basically fiber).
Shutterstock Also, it may be a sign of intestinal worms. Or, it may just mean it's hot outside and they're trying to stay hydrated by drinking any remaining water on the grass. In any case, if your dog starts doing this too often, it might be good to go for a vet check-up.
The Puppy Dog Eyes When your dog is still a puppy, it's not much different than when your teenager is still a baby or toddler. The eyes say it all. Those great big puppy eyes manage to melt our hearts. What does that expression mean? Not much apparently.
Getty Images Photo By Busybee-CR Just like when your baby or toddler stares at you. When you leave the house in the morning, on most occasions, your dog will be calm. They know the routine. It is now time to leave, but they know that you will return.
Raising Their Paws When your dog (usually happens with young puppies) raises its paw, don't ignore it. They are trying to ask for something. They either want to play or are just seeking your attention. If it's not the right time for you for doggy play, tell it to your dog.
Getty Images Photo By Eudyptula That fraction of attention can sometimes do the job (Amazing how these animals are like our kids). If an adult dog does this, it will usually place its paw on your lap, and this will mean he is hungry, or the water bowl is empty.
Bad Breath Dogs aren't known for the fragrance of roses trailing out of their mouth, however, if your dog's breath suddenly starts to smell worst then usually '-- do not ignore this. Bad breath can indicate a medical situation that must be treated. One of its internal organs (liver kidneys) might need care.
Getty Images Photo By adomer Dog's breath could also smell sweet, which might indicate that there is a sugar level issue, such as diabetes. Anyway, if the breath of your dog doesn't stink in a usual way, it's time to visit the vet.
Head Pressing Have you ever seen your dog pressing its head against the wall? Have you ever seen your dog pushing a firm object? They are not goofing around and this needs your attention.
Getty Images Photo By Guillermo Spelucin Runciman This behavior can indicate several conditions. It could be poisoning or a brain disease, and you must go see your vet as soon as possible. Timing is crucial here.
Urinating Just like humans, all pets (especially dogs) want to live in a clean environment, so when your dog starts to urinate in your home, something is wrong. There is no reason for a dog to purposely empty its bladder if everything is ok.
Getty Images Photo By Capuski Urinating around the house can be a sign of a problem with kidney function and when concerning older dogs, could be a sign of another medical condition that needs to be looked at.
Closing or Opening Mouth Slightly A dog's mouth is usually open, calm, and relaxed. This indicates that the dog is happy and satisfied. But what happens what your dog's mouth is only slightly opened, looks tense and the dog overall seems uncomfortable?
Getty Images Photo By Ritter75 If you monitor your dog and find its mouth slightly open (or slightly closed), the dog is likely to be stressed, frightened, or in pain.
Licking Lips Unlike puppies, mature dogs don't just lick around. When dogs lick their lips, they usually do this to soothe or calm whoever is approaching them. If they feel threatened or have some sense of aggression, licking their lips will come in hand.
Getty Images Photo By Peter Dazeley Occasionally, when a dog feels frustrated or confused, licking may come in hand too, as this would show appeasement of gestures.
Growling (And Soft Growling) Growling is usually what keeps us, humans, away from a dog. It frightens us and we feel threatened by it. A growling dog is a protective dog, therefor this justifies our behavior (and not only theirs). There is probably a reason for them to feel insecure.
Getty Images Photo By Mikhail Pankov / EyeEm A growling dog will usually become an aggressive dog and can be resulted in an attack. On the other hand, if your dog produces a soft growl, it could indicate, that it's in a playful mood.
Whining and Whining If you're a parent of a baby or young child, you are familiar with the sound of whining. A whining dog is usually an uncomfortable dog, or, it's trying to show that it's in pain. But pay attention!
Alamy Stock Photo A whining dog can be just a dog seeking attention. So be careful with your observation. Just like kids. You have to identify when the whine is for real.
Ears Say It All In a dog's world, the ears say it all. These next "ear rules" will help you understand what your dog is going through and assure they are treated accordingly. Ears forward and up are a happy and curious dog.
Getty Images Photo By Samuli Vainionp¤¤ Maybe it wants to play or chase someone? Flat and close to the head ears indicate that the dog is scared or unsecured. Ears that are not flat on the head but are apart, the dog is probably sad or bothered by something.
What Up With Genitals? Dogs shouldn't like their genitals more than usual. What is usual? More than licking the rest of the body. Dogs lick the genitals to clean them, however, if you see your dog repeatedly hanging around down there, something is wrong.
Getty Images Photo By Michael Edwards A urinary tract infection is a condition that results in genital discharge. It can irritate and be the cause of the licking. This is possibly what your dog is suffering from.
Crouching A dog can crouch, and if it crouches, it means something. Now crouching can indicate several things, and it will probably need some close monitoring to figure what is going on. It could mean your dog is nervous, insecure, frightened, or on its way to playing with another mate.
Shutterstock Photo by Meike Engels/imageBROKER So, no matter what your dog is up to, and no matter what it's trying to say, when it crouches, it means something.
Car Chasing If you ever wondered why your dog chases cars, carry on reading. Apparently, it's in their instinct. It's something they are born with. This behavior can be very dangerous as it can lead to car accidents, the dog getting hurt, or even you '-- the dog owner '-- getting hit by a car.
Alamy Stock Photo Propper professional training is the only solution here. It's a common issue with dogs all over, and if this concerns you, we suggest having it treated.
Lack of Appetite Most healthy dogs can go for as long as two days without eating, however, if you notice your dog has not been eating properly or has completely lost its appetite, there is room for concern. Many health conditions can cause a lack of appetite such as dental disease.
Getty Images Photo By Chalabala Vaccination could also lead to losing an appetite and when a dog travels, it can take a while before its eating habits are back to normal. If more than a day or two have gone by and your dog is still not eating as it should, consult with your vet.
Food Protective In the wild, dogs (originate from the wolf family) guard and protect their food for a purpose of surviving. It's in their blood. And when a dog guards its food, it should be trained, especially if there are young children or babies around. Do this when your dog is still a puppy.
Getty Images Photo By gollykim Teach them (with professional guidance) that the food does not have to be guided, especially when children approach. The last thing you want is your dog growling at your baby or child if they accidentally touch the dog's bowl.
Compulsive Itching Yes, your dog can itch but what happens when it's done compulsively? This behavior can be caused by several reasons.
Getty Images Photo By magdasmith It could be an allergy (check fabric softener you used on the dog's blanket or sheet), mites, insect bites, skin infection, or a reaction to the recent dog shampoo you just bought.
Snoring So, it's not only your better half that keeps you up with his/her snoring but also your dog can be blessed with this irritating behavior. When a dog snores, it's not only its owners that are kept awake but also itself.
Getty Images Photo By Richard Newstead When a dog snores, it repeatedly wakes up during the night (nothing to worry about, as it doesn't have an office to go to in the morning). Dogs are not supposed to snore, and if this happens often and loudly, consult with your vet.
Wanting to Go Out Constantly Naturally, dogs want to be outside all the time, however, they get used to living indoors and understand that they go out whenever they are taken out. If your dog (that is used to going out three times a day), suddenly askes to be taken out all the time, it's probably the time of the month (not for your dog, but for the neighbor's female dog).
Getty Images Photo By Os Tartarouchos When a female dog is in heat, your male dog will smell it for miles. Remember: regardless of other dogs and their time of the month, dogs want to be outside as much as possible, so whenever you can take them out.
When Its Head Is Out of the Car Window... If you have enough room in your car for your dog, this one is for you. It's all got to do with their amazing scenes of smell. When traveling in the car, we feel the fresh breeze blowing in our hair, but our dogs sense the smell in the air, ten times stronger than when still.
Getty Images Photo By adamkaz When a dog sticks its head out of the window, they are literally in euphoria. Their Brain, which is packed with sensors, gets overstimulated and the pressured air, blowing straight at their face, envelopes them with great highs.
Failed FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, the tee-total vegan gamer who sleeps four hours a night | Daily Mail Online
Wed, 16 Nov 2022 12:42
For a one-time crypto billionaire who rubs shoulders with A-listers from Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen to Bill Clinton and Tony Blair, departing FTX chief Sam Bank-Fried leads an unassuming lifestyle. Some might even say boring.
The 30-year-old, nicknamed SBF, is a tee-total vegan who sleeps four hours a night, drives a Toyota Corolla and shuns designer clothes for scruffy loungewear and sneakers.
It's likely that the only luxury he'll need to give up following the collapse of FTX is his exclusive penthouse in the tax haven of the Bahamas, which he shares with several of his acolytes.
Bankman-Fried lives in the apartment-cum-office with nine of his staff, including his rumored on-off lover, 28-year-old Stanford grad Caroline Ellison.
Ellison, a Harry Potter fanatic whose father is an esteemed academic, was CEO of Alameda Research, the trading firm launched by Bankman-Fried which is inextricably tied to FTX's downfall.
Bankman-Fried confirmed in a tweet on Thursday that Alameda was also winding down operations after FTX's collapse.
Fallen crypto golden boy Sam Bankman-Fried, 30, is a vegan gamer who sleeps four hours per night so he can dedicate as much time as possible to work
His rumored on-off lover, 28-year-old Caroline Ellison, is one of ten FTX and Alameda Research staffers who live in a multimillion-dollar Bahamas penthouse
FTX co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Gary Wang is also a member of the Bahamas set
FTX Director of Engineering Nishad Singh also lives in the penthouse with Sam Bankman-Fried
Movie buffs will recognize the coastline around the FTX founder's multi-million dollar bolthole as the paradisiacal beach where Daniel Craig emerged from the ocean as James Bond in Casino Royale.
While contemporaries like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos frolic on yachts or dine at the world's finest restaurants, Bankman-Fried spends his (very limited) free time playing League of Legends, an online fantasy game.
The rest of the time, he's working and studying charts on the six computer screens overlooking a workstation that wouldn't be out of place on a space shuttle.
Stunning penthouse aside, it's a modest lifestyle for a young man who, until this week, had a fortune valued at $16 billion.
In fact, he's a self-proclaimed 'effective altruist', an ethos that can be loosely defined as using the resources at one's disposal to bring about as much good as possible.
Bankman-Fried on stage with Gisele Bundchen (right) earlier this year at the Crypto Bahamas conference
Ex-UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and former President Bill Clinton were also at Crypto Bahamas. They wore suits while SBF opted for his usual casual-wear of t-shirt, shorts and sneakers
FTX moved its HQ from Hong Kong to the Bahamas, a tax haven, in September 2021. SBF is pictured with the Bahaman Prime Minister, Philip Davis (center), and other officials
Bankman-Fried moved into a luxury penthouse at the Albany resort with nine of his acolytes
The exclusive resort has views of the beach featured in the James Bond movie Casino Royale
He's a passionate activist whose FTX foundation, the charity arm of the failed firm, has donated millions to causes to prevent climate change and improve healthcare.
He also handed $5.2 million to President Joe Biden's 2020 election campaign.
But the collapse of FTX leaves his fortune - and his altruistic ambitions - in ruins. Bankman-Fried's wealth plunged an estimated 94 percent in a single day, the biggest one-day fall of any billionaire in history.
Bankman-Fried was born on the campus of Stanford University in California to two esteemed law professors at the institution.
His mother, Barbara Fried, is the William W. and Gertrude H. Saunders Professor of Law. His father, Joseph Bankman, is Ralph M. Parsons Professor of Law and Business at Stanford Law School.
He studied math and physics at MIT before joining Jane Street Capital in 2013, a Wall Street behemoth that made $17 trillion in trades in 2020.
He quit four years later, moved to the liberal enclave of Berkeley, California, and started Alameda Research.
FTX itself was founded in April 2019 and three years later was valued at an eye-watering $32 billion.
The company was initially headquartered in Hong Kong but moved its headquarters to the Bahamas in September 2021, in part because of a crackdown on crypto by China.
Bankman-Fried is the son of Stanford law professors and was born on the university campus
He studied physics and mathematics at MIT before working for a Wall Street investment firm
His mother, Barbara Fried, is the William W. and Gertrude H. Saunders Professor of Law at Stanford
His father, Joseph Bankman, is Ralph M. Parsons Professor of Law and Business at Stanford Law School
The Bahamas is also a tax haven - with no corporate tax, income tax, or capital gains tax - handy for a company enjoying stratospheric growth.
Bankman-Fried and his inner-circle moved into a penthouse on the island's exclusive Albany resort, where vacation rooms start at around $3,000-a-night.
He shacked up with nine of his FTX and Alameda staff, including the company's co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, Gary Wang, and Director of Engineering Nishad Singh.
The clique of ten are said to be split into five couples that are either in relationships or were previously romantically linked.
Bankman-Fried has reportedly dated the Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison, a Stanford math graduate and daughter of two economists, who also worked at Jane Street.
In a podcast posted to the FTX Official YouTube page in July 2020, Ellison described parts of her work at Alameda as 'uncertain' and 'terrifying'.
And like Bankman-Fried, she comes from a family steeped in academia. Her father is Glenn Ellison, the Gregory K. Palm Professor of Economics at MIT.
A young Sam Bankman-Fried in a picture from 2009 when he took part in a sleep study
A young Sam Bankman-Fried in a picture from 2009 when he took part in a sleep study
A source told Coindesk, the outlet whose story about FTX's finances preceded its downfall, that 'the whole operation was run by a gang of kids in the Bahamas'.
Bankman-Fried, Wang and Singh were described by one person as controlling 'the code, the exchange's matching engine and funds'.
Ominously, they added: 'If they moved them around or input their own numbers, I'm not sure who would notice.'
Another insider said the trio would 'do anything for each other'.
Bankman-Fried met some of his FTX team at Epsilon Theta, a 'living group' at MIT which has been described as like a fraternity 'but replace all the alcohol with the nerdiest stuff you can imagine'.
Indeed, Epsilon Theta's website explains: 'The House is socially dry, meaning that no alcohol is served at parties. However, visitors can usually expect to find costumes, cake, and/or LARPing.'
LARPing is live action roleplaying which involves dressing up as characters to play out fantasy games.
Fallen crypto golden boy Sam Bankman-Fried, 30, is a vegan gamer who sleeps four hours per night so he can dedicate as much time as possible to work
His $16bn was decimated by the demise of FTX, which also triggered turmoil in the crypto markets
FTX went from a leading crypto platform to 'worthless' overnight after clients rushed to cash out their assets
Bankman-Fried's Bahamian dream appeared to peak in April of this year when he shared a stage on the island with Tom Brady, his now ex-wife Gisele Bundchen, former president Bill Clinton and former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair.
It's not often you'd put those four names in the same line-up. But so convincing was SBF's vision, they came together for the Crypto Bahamas conference to trumpet the endless opportunities of decentralized currencies.
Just six months later, the future of Bankman-Fried's Caribbean romp appears in tatters.
On Friday after FTX filed for bankruptcy and Bankman-Fried dramatically resigned as CEO.
FTX is also under investigation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, while investors like sports stars Tom Brady, Steph Curry and Naomi Osaka are poised to lose the majority, if not all, of their money.
For his part, Bankman-Fried publicly confessed on Thursday: 'I f***** up'.
It remains to be seen whether he'll able to restore his wealth - and his reputation.
Opinion | America Deserves Better Than Donald Trump - The New York Times
Wed, 16 Nov 2022 11:10
Donald Trump, twice impeached for seeking to undermine the integrity of the 2020 presidential election, says he is running for president again in 2024.
His new campaign has begun with the same ugliness, lies and chaos as the last, but it poses even greater dangers to American democracy.
Mr. Trump and his supporters can no longer pretend to be good-faith participants in the democratic process. They have enshrined the refusal to accept adverse election results as a defining feature of their political movement, sought to install true believers in local and state election offices and demonstrated a willingness to resort to violence.
Mr. Trump is unfit for public office. As president, he showed himself to be incompetent and self-dealing. He should have been convicted by the Senate in 2019 for abusing his power and in 2021 for inciting an insurrection. Voters repudiated him at the ballot box after his second campaign, but he has the legal right to try again, so Americans must weather the trial of a third candidacy. If he is still in the race when the first votes are cast in 2024, the election will once again be a referendum on American democracy, because if our system of government is to survive, voters must choose leaders who accept and submit to the rule of law.
Image Supporters of former President Donald Trump at a rally in Wisconsin in August. Credit... Jamie Kelter Davis for The New York Times The first state primaries, however, are still over a year away, and before then, there is work to be done.
Congress needs to pass a bill overhauling the Electoral Count Act before the end of the year to make it harder for congressional supporters of Mr. Trump, or any other presidential candidate, to challenge the election results that are submitted by the states. The legislation also includes other safeguards. For example, it would steer disputes over vote tallies to the courts, giving the final say to judges and not partisan officials.
American voters last week rejected every one of the most dangerous election deniers running for key state offices in battleground states '-- from Mark Finchem and Jim Marchant to Tudor Dixon and Kari Lake. Still, there is a real danger of meddling by state and local election officials and members of Congress who deny that Mr. Trump lost the 2020 election.
Legal proceedings against Mr. Trump and investigations related to his actions around Jan. 6, election interference in Georgia and his mishandling of classified information at his home in Florida also need to continue. Allowing him to avoid legal accountability by declaring himself a candidate for office would be dangerous.
Image Cleanup after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol building in January 2021. Credit... Samuel Corum/Getty Images Mr. Trump has many loyal supporters, who regard him as a flawed but effective champion. His rise to power was built on the idea that he is a winner and, for many Republicans, his victory in 2016 was sufficient justification for having supported him. It allowed the party to cut taxes and take firm control of the Supreme Court, opening an era of conservative jurisprudence, including the reversal of Roe v. Wade this year.
But Republicans, even those who share Mr. Trump's views on issues like China, trade and immigration, should recognize that it is shortsighted to pursue such goals by undermining the integrity of the political process. If Americans doubt the legitimacy of elections and their leaders fuel and inflame those doubts, they will no longer accept the legitimacy of decisions or policies of the federal government that contradict their views. Without that fundamental principle of democratic governance, American democracy crumbles.
The leadership of the Republican Party initially tried to prevent his rise, but over the four years of Mr. Trump's presidency they failed to hold him accountable every time they had a chance to do so. Since he left office, they have continued to allow the cult of personality around him to grow unchecked, even as he demands personal loyalty and punishes those in the party who defy him, and many have refused to condemn even his worst excesses.
To see the extent of the damage that support for Mr. Trump has wrought, Republicans might look to any of the communities and institutions '-- schools, universities, churches and the armed forces, among others '-- to which their supporters belong. Trumpism has proved to be a damaging and divisive force even among conservative stalwarts. Evangelical Christians, for example, have become deeply divided, not along party lines but because, as Peter Wehner wrote last year in The Atlantic, in many churches, being considered faithful now means professing blind loyalty to one former president.
Image People praying before Donald Trump spoke at a rally in Dayton, Ohio, this month. Credit... Maddie McGarvey for The New York Times Mr. Trump's candidacy should serve as a clarion call to those who are willing to fight for the soul of the Republican Party. While this board does not support many of their policy positions, some leading figures in the party '-- including former Vice President Mike Pence, Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina and Gov. Chris Sununu of New Hampshire, among others '-- have demonstrated a commitment to the rule of law and an ability to govern.
The country and the Republican Party need a robust nomination fight in which Mr. Trump's record is scrutinized and held to account by other Republicans, and where alternative visions of the country and the party are presented and debated.
The case against Mr. Trump is straightforward. He uses demagogy to stoke racism. He lies about matters great and small. As president, he frequently placed his personal interests above the national interest. He promised to lift up ordinary Americans and instead delivered tax cuts for the wealthy that significantly increased the federal debt. He was a friend to dictators and an inconstant ally to liberal democracies. He made the country's military position in the world demonstrably weaker by foolishly withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, which even a senior Israeli official now concedes was a serious self-inflicted wound. And in perhaps his greatest test as president, he treated the Covid-19 pandemic as a public relations problem, downplaying the danger and resisting basic safety measures that would have saved lives.
If he is elected, a second Trump term would lack whatever guardrails were in place during the first. Over the course of those four years, Mr. Trump grew bolder in his defiance of the other branches of government, disregard for the law and flagrant abuses of presidential power. This time, he would be running with the support of those who are not only aware of his worst abuses but have also embraced him as the wronged party. He is likely to be surrounded even more completely by sycophants. Consider, for example, whom Mr. Trump might choose as an attorney general. At the end of his term, Mr. Trump forced out his own attorney general, Bill Barr '-- a loyal supporter but someone who was unwilling to openly break the law '-- and tried to install a midlevel Justice Department official whose primary qualification was an apparent willingness to do exactly that on Mr. Trump's behalf. A second term promises to be a revenge tour of grievances and political payback.
The Democratic Party has an obligation to do more than simply point to those possibilities. Democrats must take seriously the challenge of offering to Americans an appealing alternative. The ultimate justification for democracy and upholding the rule of law is that it is the system of government that provides the best life for the most people. Democrats argue, correctly, that voting against Mr. Trump and his allies is the principled course. They must also show voters that democracy is worth defending, and that it will improve their lives and the lives of their children. In countries where weak, ineffective opposition parties leave people without hope or good alternatives, it is easier for autocrats to fill the void.
Mr. Trump gravely damaged American democracy, but there are promising signs that the wounds are beginning to heal. Nearly without exception, the losing candidates in the recent midterm elections have conceded with grace '-- even some of those who had attacked the integrity of the election system during their campaigns. The return of Mr. Trump's dark circus threatens that progress. He will once again tempt Americans with misinformation and outright lies, veiled threats and outright calls for violence, insults and provocations. By rejecting his bid for a political revival, Americans can put Mr. Trump in the past, and get back to the hard but necessary work of self-government.
Why It's Become Harder to Joke About Anti-Semitism - The Atlantic
Tue, 15 Nov 2022 19:19
It really is getting harder to joke about anti-Semitism'--just not for the reasons he thinks.
Getty; The AtlanticNovember 15, 2022, 12:56 PM ETAs I watched Dave Chappelle's much-discussed Saturday Night Live monologue poking fun at recent anti-Semitic incidents involving Black celebrities, I finally figured out why I no longer felt comfortable cracking jokes about anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.
In his 15-minute appearance, Chappelle, a habitual line-stepper, deliberately mocked the presumptions of both anti-Semites and their critics, with little concern for where the chips fell. He closed his potent performance with a pronouncement: ''It shouldn't be this scary to talk about anything. It's making my job incredibly difficult, and to be honest with you, I'm getting sick of talking to a crowd like this. I love you to death, and I thank you for your support, and I hope they don't take anything away from me'--whoever they are.'' In context, this felt like a cheap but clever attempt to immunize himself against criticism'--say nothing, and his comedic choices go unchallenged; say something, and you've proved him right.
That said, Chappelle is correct that it's become more difficult to poke fun at anti-Semitism in front of an audience, but not because some censorious Jewish cabal is looking over the shoulder of Netflix's multimillion-dollar man. The problem, I realized, is that as anti-Semitism and related conspiracy theories become more normalized in our discourse, it becomes harder to laugh about them, because you never know who might not get the joke.
Read: Does Dave Chappelle find anything funnier than being canceled?
From sources as varied as Tucker Carlson, Kyrie Irving, Elon Musk, and Kanye West, our culture faces a flood of conspiracy. And inevitably, with the rise of conspiratorial thinking comes a surge in anti-Semitism. As another comedian famously said, ''That train is never late.''
The progression is as dependable as it is depressing. Conspiracy theorists begin by rejecting mainstream explanations for social and political events in favor of supposedly suppressed knowledge and hidden hands. These individuals may not start out as anti-Semites. But anti-Semitism has a multi-thousand-year head start on their crooked conception of the world, and has produced centuries of material casting the Jews as its chief culprit. Once a person has convinced themselves that an invisible hand is manipulating the masses, they are just a couple of Google searches away from discovering that it belongs to an invisible Jew.
Take Irving, the Brooklyn Nets basketball star who shared a cartoonishly anti-Jewish film with his social-media following. As the Yahoo Sports columnist Ben Rohrbach noted at the time, this was far from the first conspiracy theory that Irving had promoted. In the past, the point guard had suggested that the Earth was flat, that the CIA killed the musician Bob Marley, that the Federal Reserve helped assassinate President John F. Kennedy, and that 9/11 might have been an inside job. ''People will be like, Who's 'they'?'' Irving said in a 2018 podcast, before answering his own question: ''Everyone who has basically controlled us.'' Seen in this perspective, it's less surprising that Irving landed on anti-Semitic ideas, and more surprising that it took him this long.
Fox News's Tucker Carlson, the host of the most popular political show on television, has produced an entire propaganda series pushing the fevered fantasy that the U.S. government manufactured the January 6 insurrection in order to ensnare and persecute innocent patriots. Carlson has also celebrated Alex Jones, the far-right radio host recently hit with a $965 million libel judgment for repeatedly claiming that no children were murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, and that their grieving parents were in fact paid actors.
It is no surprise, then, that Carlson has also taken to promoting a lightly sanitized version of the ''Great Replacement'' theory, which posits that shadowy elites are plotting to replace the country's white majority with brown minorities'--a claim that has motivated multiple anti-Semitic massacres on American soil. Carlson is careful never to explicitly implicate Jews in this supposed scheme, as white nationalists do, but the far-right members of his audience can fill in the blanks after he hits all their preferred beats.
The conveyor belt from all-purpose conspiracy to anti-Jewish specificity doesn't stop there. It's how Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene went from claiming that Democratic leaders were running a pedophile ring out of a pizza store and that no plane hit the Pentagon on 9/11 to fulminating about Jewish-run space lasers and seconding accusations that Israel's Mossad killed JFK. This is how QAnon became JewAnon. And it's why the rise of conspiracism should concern us all.
Earlier this month, the entrepreneur Elon Musk posted and then deleted a conspiracy theory on Twitter about the recent attack on Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The site he linked to had previously claimed that Hillary Clinton had died during the 2016 presidential campaign and been replaced with a body double. This foray of the world's richest man into casual conspiracy is frightening not because he is unique, but because he is entirely representative of our moment, a reflection of just how much erratic thinking has seeped into the mainstream. Indeed, Twitter, the platform Musk recently acquired, is filled with hoaxes and conspiracies, an accelerant of the breakdown of our society's shared frame of reference.
Adrienne LaFrance: Elon Musk accidentally bought a casino
And this is what I realized as I watched Chappelle's monologue: When so many people have proved so susceptible to the conspiracism that animates anti-Semitism, it becomes harder and harder to laugh about it. Comedy cannot be divorced from its context. Jokes assume a set of shared assumptions between the comedian and the audience, which are subverted for ironic effect. But when that collective context is called into question, and one no longer knows whether everyone in the room is operating from the same premises, what was once satire becomes suspect. After all, the best parody is often indistinguishable from the thing itself'--the perfect impressionist is the one who sounds exactly like Donald Trump. But when the performance is anti-Semitism, and so much of society seems in thrall to its essential elements, it's not clear whether the bit is setting up a punch line'--or just a punch.
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VIDEO - (18) Disclose.tv on Twitter: "NOW - Republicans announce an investigation into Joe Biden. https://t.co/qEaVgHwMI9" / Twitter
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 17:54
Disclose.tv : NOW - Republicans announce an investigation into Joe Biden. https://t.co/qEaVgHwMI9
Thu Nov 17 15:00:13 +0000 2022
Downfall of Rome 2.0 : @disclosetv More useless talk
Thu Nov 17 17:54:48 +0000 2022
0.o huh? : @disclosetv Uh oh. I'm all for it. If it back fires, I'm all for the slander too.
Thu Nov 17 17:54:40 +0000 2022
KWL : @disclosetv @Jules31415 Give crooked Joe hell!!
Thu Nov 17 17:54:11 +0000 2022
Geoff Mills : @disclosetv How does this help solve inflation?
Thu Nov 17 17:54:11 +0000 2022
Karen Pellicciotti : @disclosetv Finally the truth and justice to be served! Thank you
Thu Nov 17 17:54:08 +0000 2022
VIDEO - FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried Admits FTX Was a Crypto Laudromat for Ukrainian Government
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 17:43
Uncategorized
The CEO of now-bankrupt FTX admitted that FTX was nothing more than a laundromat for the Ukrainian government.
Yesterday TGP reported that the now-bankrupt FTX was transferring money to Ukraine and then laundering money back from Ukraine to the Democrat party.
BREAKING EXCLUSIVE: Tens of Billions of US Dollars Were Transferred to Ukraine and then Using FTX Crypto Currency the Funds Were Laundered Back to Democrats in US
We've identified an interview where Bankman-Fried admitted that FTX was laundering money for the Ukrainian government.
TRENDING: "This Is An Investigation of Joe Biden" - BREAKING: House Republicans Announce Investigation of Joe Biden and Biden Crime Family (VIDEO)
Sam Bankman-Fried admits that FTX is a crypto laundromat for the Ukrainian government. pic.twitter.com/c7798pHFif
'-- Bob Bishop (@BobBish40288847) November 13, 2022
All the money that the US sent to Ukraine over the past two decades needs to be audited and investigated.
How many billions of US dollars sent to Ukraine ended up back in the pockets of US politicians?
Hat tip Bob Bishop
SummaryRecent PostsContactJoe Hoft is the twin brother of TGP's founder, Jim Hoft, and a contributing editor at TGP. Joe's reporting is often months ahead of the Mainstream media as was observed in his reporting on the Mueller sham investigation, the origins of COVID-19, and 2020 Election fraud. Joe was a corporate executive in Hong Kong for a decade and has years of experience in finance, IT, operations, and auditing around the world. The knowledge gained in his career gives him a unique perspective of current events in the US and globally. Joe is the author of five books. His new bestseller, 'The Steal: Volume II - The Impossible Occurs' is out now. It addresses the stolen 2020 Election and provides an inventory of activities that prove the 2020 Election never should have been certified for Joe Biden. It's available at major retailers now - Please take a look and buy a copy.
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VIDEO - (18) govt.exe is corrupt on Twitter: "#BREAKING: Bill Gates explains why most lives don't matter and how some are more important than others and suggests that every human has a price tag attached to them. https://t.co/BXNfPZ57p3" / Twitter
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 17:41
govt.exe is corrupt : #BREAKING: Bill Gates explains why most lives don't matter and how some are more important than others and suggests'... https://t.co/NRCd1NWxJF
Mon Nov 14 15:52:56 +0000 2022
VIDEO - Masks recommended as COVID cases rise | Watch
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 17:37
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VIDEO - (135) World of Africa: Nigeria-Morocco sign gas pipeline deal - YouTube
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 17:33
VIDEO - Klaus Schwab Full Speech at G20 / B20 Indonesia 2022 - YouTube
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 17:30
VIDEO - Xi Jinping and Justin Trudeau clash over media transparency during G20 summit talks - YouTube
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 17:27
VIDEO - (18) Samantha Marika on Twitter: "What in the world did I just witness https://t.co/EFxbgWRi7M" / Twitter
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 17:26
Samantha Marika : What in the world did I just witness https://t.co/EFxbgWRi7M
Wed Nov 16 22:56:53 +0000 2022
BTO : @samanthamarika1 WEF punks..vote them out.
Thu Nov 17 17:25:59 +0000 2022
dirty white boy. : @samanthamarika1 2 fem boys.
Thu Nov 17 17:22:17 +0000 2022
Courtney A-W : @samanthamarika1 Why my children will never participate in the Model UN at school.
Thu Nov 17 17:16:34 +0000 2022
🇺🇸fantazero4 : @samanthamarika1 What the heck???????
Thu Nov 17 17:15:13 +0000 2022
Sam : @samanthamarika1 A b movie with two really bad actors
Thu Nov 17 17:14:02 +0000 2022
Divergent : @samanthamarika1 Propaganda.
Thu Nov 17 17:12:42 +0000 2022
Dave Brown : @samanthamarika1 This is vile ðŸ¤
Thu Nov 17 17:05:53 +0000 2022
JB : @samanthamarika1 Western civilization's failure.
Thu Nov 17 17:05:52 +0000 2022
MelanatedTNG279🇷🇺 🇮🇷 🇸🇾 🇾🇪 ðŸ‡>>🇪 🇨🇺 : @samanthamarika1 The 2 clowns 🤠ðŸ¤
Thu Nov 17 17:04:53 +0000 2022
Ambassadors LLC : @samanthamarika1 It's like he tried to use his ''Ukrainian accent'' when he said ''it's reeshi and justin''What a clo'... https://t.co/lzVijysHmp
Thu Nov 17 17:01:23 +0000 2022
Serge Fiankan : @samanthamarika1 They are taking us straight to a nuclear war and they see it as a joke.
Thu Nov 17 17:01:08 +0000 2022
Curtis Edlin : @samanthamarika1 Shark jumping.
Thu Nov 17 17:00:16 +0000 2022
Ha : @samanthamarika1 Where are the serious people to lead these countries?
Thu Nov 17 16:59:50 +0000 2022
lchav100 : @samanthamarika1 WEF frat boys ...
Thu Nov 17 16:59:50 +0000 2022
👑🪬👑 : @samanthamarika1 Imagine you're at war fighting in the trenches and a couple of acquaintances from work call you up'... https://t.co/XMHBQPXpWn
Thu Nov 17 16:59:15 +0000 2022
Dawn : @samanthamarika1 The perpetuation of a lie.
Thu Nov 17 16:58:29 +0000 2022
🇺🇸JaaylowOG🇺🇸¸>>'•...'•...'•'-- : @samanthamarika1 https://t.co/YlL39AZnMR
Thu Nov 17 16:57:50 +0000 2022
#ColeWorld : @samanthamarika1 Everything is staged
Thu Nov 17 16:57:11 +0000 2022
_beauty_and_terror : @samanthamarika1 Cosplay
Thu Nov 17 16:56:38 +0000 2022
@pmurany : @samanthamarika1 Reminds me of Dr. Strangelove and the US President talking over the phone to the Soviet Premier
Thu Nov 17 16:56:33 +0000 2022
Andy Williamson : @samanthamarika1 Get a room.
Thu Nov 17 16:56:27 +0000 2022
Sheepdog Sam : @samanthamarika1 This is sooooo f-n gay.
Thu Nov 17 16:53:23 +0000 2022
VIDEO - (18) Disclose.tv on Twitter: "NOW - Russia "ultimately responsible" for Poland missile blast, whatever the final conclusion may be, says Austin. https://t.co/cMKMQ54Dh0" / Twitter
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 17:24
Disclose.tv : NOW - Russia "ultimately responsible" for Poland missile blast, whatever the final conclusion may be, says Austin. https://t.co/cMKMQ54Dh0
Wed Nov 16 17:58:32 +0000 2022
VIDEO - (18) Alexander on Twitter: "Matt Baker at the #Maricopa County Board of Supervisors today in #Arizona. Safe to say that this man just expressed how he feels after the #elections. https://t.co/d0RlamDbBX" / Twitter
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 17:16
Alexander : Matt Baker at the #Maricopa County Board of Supervisors today in #Arizona. Safe to say that this man just express'... https://t.co/t71Au5yrQS
Wed Nov 16 19:18:16 +0000 2022
VIDEO - (135) Richard Branson Tries UPSIDE Chicken - YouTube
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 17:12
VIDEO - (23) Disclose.tv on Twitter: "NEW - Chuck Schumer calls for amnesty for "all 11 million" undocumented migrants in the US because the American population "is not reproducing on its own with the same level that it used to." https://t.co/DNHHim68xr"
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 17:08
Disclose.tv : NEW - Chuck Schumer calls for amnesty for "all 11 million" undocumented migrants in the US because the American pop'... https://t.co/JmRCa2TmLz
Wed Nov 16 17:27:46 +0000 2022
Michael G Alford : @disclosetv There are billions of people that would do practically anything to come to America. We can't take them all.
Thu Nov 17 17:07:27 +0000 2022
Carol DiGiorgi : @disclosetv Kill the babies, kill the young people with an invasion of drugs over the Southern border and then brin'... https://t.co/6KbwuNlT76
Thu Nov 17 17:06:30 +0000 2022
VIDEO - (135) Nouriel Roubini takes a swipe at crypto industry after FTX collapse - YouTube
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 17:01
VIDEO - (135) [LIVE] B20 Summit di Bali: Pidato Jokowi dan Anne Hathaway - YouTube
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 15:34
VIDEO - (135) History is at a turning point | WGS2022 - YouTube
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 15:21
VIDEO - WEF's Klaus Schwab Gives Speech To G20 On The "Need To Restructure The World" - Activist Post
Thu, 17 Nov 2022 14:11
By Tyler Durden
Klaus Schwab and the World Economic Forum find themselves waiting around for the next global crisis event after the covid pandemic turned out to be much less threatening to the public than they had originally hoped.
In the meantime, Schwab continues to pontificate on the virtues of the ''Great Reset'' and the usefulness of crisis as a means to accomplish a ''restructuring'' of the current world order.
The restructuring that the WEF obsesses over is a global socialist system based on Schwab's concepts of the 4th Industrial Revolution, the Shared Economy and Stakeholder Capitalism (corporate governance).
He does not say much in terms of planning in his speech to the G20, but he does imply that while fragmentation is necessary, too much fragmentation could be troublesome. In other words, controlled chaos is valuable to the globalist agenda, but uncontrolled chaos would be disastrous for them.
Source: ZeroHedge
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illegals to philly.mp3
ISO crazy.mp3
ISO NASA Bloviating.mp3
Klaus Schwab G20 Restructure the world speech.mp3
Lloyd Austin on Poland missle - NOT Ukraine's fault of course.mp3
Maricopa County Concil Meeting - Matt Baker rant.mp3
McDonalds French fried -- pollan.mp3
Missile in Poland weird NT.mp3
NBC bemoaning GOP house control.mp3
Nouriel Roubini 7 C's of Crypto.mp3
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Psaki about Pelosi attack - OBAMA Flub and Recovery.mp3
Republicans announce an investigation into Joe Biden.mp3
Richard Branson Tries UPSIDE Chicken.mp3
Rishy and Justin say hi to Zalensky after Poland attack.mp3
Sam Bankman-Fried admits that FTX is a crypto laundromat for the Ukrainian government.mp3
Schhumer immigrant amnesty - birthrate too low.mp3
South Australia mask recommendations.mp3
SUPERCUT dangerous tro democracy.mp3
Trump Biden threats 2.mp3
Trump Biden threats NTD.mp3
trump running 2024 ntd.mp3
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WION Nigeria Morocco pipeline agrrement.mp3
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