Thought for the day

"Conspiracy is usually a better explanation and closer to the truth than incompetence and fraud in most human activity." -- Mark Twain

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Thanks for all the emails and cards!

 Whistleblowers stepped forward recently and revealed that top FBI brass smuggled cellphones into secure rooms, called SCIFs, in violation of bureau rules.

By: orraz
Tags: CURRENT EVENTS
Posted on: Sep 13 10:25

Last Friday, the energy ministers of the 27 EU members met for an emergency discussion of the energy supply situation in the bloc. The one thing they agreed on was implementing a ceiling on the revenues of power utilities that do not use gas to generate power.

What they did not agree on was everything else the Commission suggested last week, including a price cap on Russian gas, a cap on final energy prices, and a direct intervention in EU electricity markets. It's hard to get 27 countries to agree on so many things without any compromise. This is why the EU's survival plans for the winter may never work as intended.

Last week, the European Commission, headed by Ursula von der Leyen, proposed that EU member states impose a price cap on Russian natural gas imports, a mandatory cut in energy consumption across the bloc, and a cap on the revenues of power utilities that do not use gas.

The Russian gas price cap was one of the items that divided the EU at the Friday discussions after Russia's President, Vladimir Putin, warned that any country imposing a price cap on Russian oil or gas would stop receiving them.

Some EU members argued in favor of a gas price cap for all gas imports into the bloc, following a similar suggestion made by Poland earlier this month. Some 15 members of the EU were in favor of such a move, but others were skeptical. And they were right to be skeptical: Norway, the EU's gas savior, has signaled it would not accept a cap on the price it gets for its gas.

Tags: ECONOMY, EUROPE
Posted on: Sep 13 10:25

This year, Gazprom supplied 43 percent less gas to Europe than last year, but raised prices by three times on average.

This translated to the company’s European export revenue increasing from $53 billion dollars to $100 billion dollars, wrote Olivér Hortay, head of the energy and climate policy research at Hungarian think tank Századvég Konjunktúrakutató, in his Facebook post in response to an article published in the Financial Times.

According to the paper, the higher gas prices will help the Russian natural gas extraction company Gazprom offset the decrease in supply.

Tags: ECONOMY, RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA
Posted on: Sep 13 10:24

The European Union is girding for a long war against Russia that appears clearly contrary to European economic interests and social stability. A war that is apparently irrational – as many are – has deep emotional roots and claims ideological justification. Such wars are hard to end because they extend outside the range of rationality.

Olaf Scholz, Federal Chancellor of Germany, meets Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine, in Kiev, Feb. 14, 2022. (President of Ukraine)

For decades after the Soviet Union entered Berlin and decisively defeated the Third Reich, Soviet leaders worried about the threat of “German revanchism.” Since World War II could be seen as German revenge for being deprived of victory in World War I, couldn’t aggressive German Drang nach Osten be revived, especially if it enjoyed Anglo-American support? There had always been a minority in U.S. and U.K. power circles that would have liked to complete Hitler’s war against the Soviet Union.

It was not the desire to spread communism, but the need for a buffer zone to stand in the way of such dangers that was the primary motivation for the ongoing Soviet political and military clampdown on the tier of countries from Poland to Bulgaria that the Red Army had wrested from Nazi occupation.

This concern waned considerably in the early 1980s as a young German generation took to the streets in peace demonstrations against the stationing of nuclear “Euromissiles” which could increase the risk of nuclear war on German soil. The movement created the image of a new peaceful Germany. I believe that Mikhail Gorbachev took this transformation seriously.

Tags: ECONOMY, EUROPE, GERMANY
Posted on: Sep 13 10:24

At a time when Wall Street is stuck in a furious debate with itself whether or not the Fed will pivot because inflation this or that, we recently proposed on Sept 1 an alternative theory: the coming Fed pivot will come not because an "inflation target has been hit" (it won't be for quite a while, especially since US unemployment will need to rise by over 4 million to contain inflation, a political unpalatable outcome), but because the dollar is soaring, and recently hit almost daily all time highs. As such we suggested that the Fed pivot will come not because of inflation but due to "devastation across the ROW."

Tags: ECONOMY
Posted on: Sep 13 10:23

President-elect Joe Biden's cancer charity spent the majority of its money on staff payroll and gave none to research, it has been revealed.

First reported by The New York Post, tax filings viewed by DailyMail.com showed that The Biden Cancer Initiative amassed $4,809,619 in contributions, but spent $3,070,301 on salaries.

Tags: POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION, WHITE HOUSE
Posted on: Sep 13 10:23

President Xi Jinping’s planned visit to Central Asia this week will mark his first trip aboard since the pandemic hit more than two years ago. In normal times, it wouldn’t register strongly on a trader’s radar.

But these aren’t normal times, and it comes at a rather delicate moment for China, domestically and internationally. Some analysts are fearful that Xi’s trip, which reportedly includes a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, may pose a major risk for the Chinese market.

Xi’s trip to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan was announced just as Beijing doubled down on its Covid restriction before the Party Congress next month. The policy is weighing on the economy and the rhythms of daily life, with the state media reporting that the number of China’s passenger trips expected during the holiday may fall 38% from a year earlier. Is it just a coincidence -- or is the party leader’s traveling schedule a signal that normalcy is returning to China, albeit slowly?

Source: Weibo

More importantly, the trip comes barely a month ahead of the twice-a-decade Party Congress, where Xi is expected to accept an unprecedented third term. Analysts at Clocktower Group, an alternative asset management platform, noted that it’s “extremely rare” for the party leader to travel abroad ahead of the Party Congress. President Xi, for example, stopped making overseas trips three months ahead of the 19th Party Congress in 2017. “President Xi was not expected to leave the country unless it was extremely urgent for him to do so,” the analysts wrote.

Tags: CHINA, ECONOMY, RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA
Posted on: Sep 13 10:22

Maybe President Joe Biden should stay away from trying to recite the preamble to the Declaration of Independence. Because it never seems to end well for him.

Speaking to a group of union workers in Boston on Monday, Biden botched it once again. He suffered a brain freeze halfway through the first line — in the middle of a word no less — and abandoned it altogether.

He said, “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men and women are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain inalien-.”

Tags: WHITE HOUSE
Posted on: Sep 13 10:18

Arizona State Senator Wendy Rogers recently spoke to The Gateway Pundit about Joe Biden’s failing presidency and his Gestapo FBI, where she indicated that President Trump will be our President again.

By: orraz
Tags: CURRENT EVENTS
Posted on: Sep 13 10:18

A massive brawl broke out at a dance club in Providence, Rhode Island on Sunday.

By: orraz
Tags: CURRENT EVENTS
Posted on: Sep 13 10:17

In yet more confirmation that the long-running attempt to reach a restored JCPOA Iran nuclear deal has failed, a senior Israeli official representing Prime Minister Yair Lapid on Monday declared that Iran talks are "dead"

This comes as the Israeli government has been touting its "successful" lobbying of the US administration to not go through with a 'bad deal'

A senior Israeli official called on Europe and the US on Monday to begin talking about demands for a "longer, stronger" nuclear agreement with Iran, saying current talks aimed at reviving a 2015 pact were dead after Jerusalem provided proof that Tehran had not been forthright during negotiations.

 

Prime Minister Yair Lapidand German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin, Getty Images.

Lapid and his top aides were in Berlin Monday, where the Israeli Prime Minister says he passed German Chancellor Olaf Scholz "sensitive and relevant intelligence information" on Iran’s nuclear program

The day prior, Germany, France, and the UK issued a joint statement calling out Iran's sincerity and motives in seeking a restored nuclear agreement, citing "serious doubts" the Western signatories to the original JCPOA have. 

A senior Israeli official traveling with Lapid told reporters: "We gave information to the Europeans that proved that the Iranians are lying while talks are still happening." 

 

Webmaster addition: 

Iran threat

 

Tags: COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, GERMANY, IRAN, ISRAEL, WHITE HOUSE
Posted on: Sep 13 10:10

Recent Taiwanese military exercises indicate that Taipei has anticipated many of the most important lessons of the February 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, and has also been addressing issues more specific to its precarious security situation. U.S. Joint Chiefs Chair Gen. Mark Milley advised the ROC to assimilate promptly the insights from the Ukraine War. These lessons include the importance of strategic political intelligence to avert a surprise attack, surveillance by Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAV), and their principal counter-measures including electronic warfare and local air defense; the persisting importance of combined arms warfare, the use of precision artillery, and the exploitation of built-up terrain with light troops equipped with anti-tank systems; logistics; and the economic, social and political preparation for a long war.

https://unsplash.com/photos/rQPbNJSNueg archive copy Image Dorigo Wu dorigo

In recent months, Taiwan has become concerned about the threat value of the people’s Republic of China’s (PRC) People’s Liberation Army Air Force’s (PLAAF)’s top to bottom modernization that has given Beijing the ability to conduct limited anti-access and air denial (A2/AD) operations in the South China Sea, and with the potential to create a regional blockade around the island. Recent exercises around Taiwan show that the PLA is forging ahead with an emphasis on network-centric warfare and information operations to coordinate the PLA units of its different elements, in particular between its naval platforms and aircraft.

Tags: CHINA, RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA
Posted on: Sep 13 10:10

Disgraced ex-CNN personality Brian Stelter has landed a new gig since he was fired by the struggling network as part of their effort to regain credibility.

This fall, the former "Reliable Sources" host - who breathlessly peddled Russiagate and other far-left conspiracy theories for half-a-decade - will be joining the Harvard Kennedy School's Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Safety.

Tags: CORPORATE MEDIA, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, EDUCATION
Posted on: Sep 13 10:09

 Even in states with legal marijuana, law enforcement’s addiction to the drug war still lingers like a dark cloud over over the land of the ostensibly free. Even in California, who has paved the way in legalization of cannabis, police officers still violently, and with extreme prejudice, lay waste to the rights of innocent people who dare grow, use, or sell this most beneficial plant.

Because of their addiction to the war on drugs, cops in Riverside County have just cost the taxpayers of their town $136,000. The money was paid to Chen-Chen Hwang, 67, and her husband, Jiun-Tsong Wu, 75, to settle a federal civil rights lawsuit alleging that their two homes were broken into by armed agents of the state and ransacked as officers looked for non-existent marijuana plants.

According to Alex Coolman, the attorney who filed the suit on behalf of the elderly couple, police were monitoring power bills of town residents and used the low amount of the couple’s bill as reason to believe they were growing marijuana.

“This was a very strange and frightening incident,” Hwang said in a release from Coolman’s office. “We did nothing to deserve this, and it made us feel unsafe in our own homes.”

The raid unfolded on August 5, 2021 and caused thousands in damage to the couple’s home.

Tags: CURRENT EVENTS
Posted on: Sep 13 10:08

New satellite imagery shows a large swath of California's rice fields has been left barren without harvest as fears of a 'mini dust bowl' emerge due to diminishing water supplies. 

Kurt Richter, a third-generation rice farmer in Colusa, the rice capital of California, told San Francisco Chronicle that fields upon fields of the grain have already transformed into a "wasteland." 

A report via the US Department of Agriculture shows about 300,000 out of the 550,000 acres committed to rice growing in California will go without harvest. This could potentially drive up sushi prices nationwide because most of the rice produced in the state is for just that. 

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

UC Davis agricultural economist Aaron Smith warned the collapse in rice production in the state will translate to an estimated $500 million loss for farmers, about 40% of which will be covered by federal crop insurance. 

Satellite imagery service Sentinel Hub shows a satellite view of the farmland in the rice capital this month compared with the same time last year -- only to reveal many fields appear fallow. 

Tags: ECONOMY, SCIENCE/ HEALTH/ CLIMATE/ NATURE
Posted on: Sep 13 10:07

In 2021, on the 20th Anniversary of 9/11, Off-Guardian asked 15 experts, including scientists, medical practitioners, journalists and activists, to share their views on 9/11 and the Covid-19 narrative.

Perhaps these two narratives have more in common than we realise? A global War on Terror filtering into a global war against a virus, both instrumental in cracking down on personal liberties, both instilling unprecedented fear into world populations.

Both, many argue, completely orchestrated.

To mark the 21st Anniversary of 9/11 we present all our 15 experts’ views in a new single cut.

As you watch, allow yourself to consider, what can we learn from twenty tangled years of overlapping, overarching agendas?

What can we learn when narratives intertwine?

Tags: 911, CORPORATE MEDIA, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, DICTATORSHIP
Posted on: Sep 13 10:07

 

Retired Gen. Keith Alexander, a highly connected former intelligence agency official who once oversaw mass surveillance programs, is the latest high-profile executive to be accused of taking advantage of the “meme stock” craze to defraud ordinary investors.

Alexander, a current board member for Amazon who previously served as the head of U.S. Cyber Command and as director of the National Security Agency under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, allegedly misled investors through a pump-and-dump scheme that enriched him with at least $5 million.

In a securities lawsuit filed in April, investors in IronNet, a cybersecurity company co-founded by Alexander after he left the Obama administration in 2014, claim that the former general gave false promises of government contracts and inflated revenue numbers, all while selling off his shares in the company.

IronNet, which advertises systems to help public and private clients defend against a variety of hackers and other forms of electronic intrusion, relies heavily on Alexander’s image and reputation as a former intelligence official. “As commander of U.S. Cyber Command, we had responsibility for defending the nation,” says Alexander in a promotional video that runs on the company’s homepage.

Joseph Depa, a spokesperson for IronNet, declined to comment.

Plaintiffs in the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, allege that IronNet made lofty promises as a cover for company insiders to quickly unload stock on clueless retail investors.

Tags: ECONOMY, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION
Posted on: Sep 13 10:06

Democratic Senator Mark Warner used the 21st anniversary of 9/11 to absurdly compare the terrorists who attacked the twin towers and the Pentagon to “insurgents” who entered the Capitol on January 6.

Warner made the comments during an appearance on Face the Nation.

The Virginia lawmaker was asked by host Margaret Brennan how vulnerable America was to terrorism now given what has happened in Afghanistan.

“Well, Margaret, I remember, as most Americans do, where they were on 9/11. I was in the middle of a political campaign and suddenly, the differences with my opponent seem very small in comparison and our country came together. And in many ways, we defeated the terrorists because of the resilience of the American public because of our intelligence community, and we are safer, better prepared,” said Warner.

Tags: 911, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, DICTATORSHIP, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION
Posted on: Sep 13 10:05

Only 45 days after the Twin Towers’ destruction in New York City on September 11, 2001, the Patriot Act became law, marking the end of American privacy, a tragedy never fully realized by the American people.

Only one day after the tragedy of 9/11, the U.S. Senate began to lay the groundwork for what would ultimately become the most significant infringement on personal freedom Americans would ever know.

U.S. Congressional Record shows the prevailing language of the Patriot Act was already being cooked into the minds of lawmakers in preparation for the passing of the Patriot Act.

“We must also dedicate ourselves to meeting a number of other challenges, including providing the resources that will help improve our signals intelligence capabilities, or, in other words, our ability to “listen in’ on unfriendly nations; stepped-up law enforcement to prevent terrorism; coordination of effort between various Federal agencies such as CIA, FBI, NSA, etc.; coordination of effort between Federal, State and local governments and law enforcement to maximize our ability to stop terrorist activity; and greater use of electronic surveillance and satellite imagery to track the enemies of peace.”

Tags: 911, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, DICTATORSHIP, WHITE HOUSE
Posted on: Sep 13 10:03

Conservative groups are lobbying members of Congress to vote against the White House’s request for additional money for Ukraine, arguing that the administration is asking for a blank check with no long-term plan to end the war.

The White House announced Friday that it would request an additional $13.7 billion to help Ukraine between October and December, including $11.7 for security and economic assistance and $2 billion to reduce energy costs that have increased during the war. Congress has already approved two supplemental funding packages, for $13.6 billion in March and $40 billion in May. 

Conservative groups, including Heritage Action and Concerned Veterans for America, quickly urged lawmakers to reject the plea for additional aid.

“These funding requests ignore the concerns of the American people, and President Biden refuses to answer basic questions regarding fiscal responsibility and appropriateness of his funding requests,” Jessica Anderson, the executive director of Heritage Action, said in a statement. “U.S. support for Ukraine deserves an open and honest debate without liberal congressional leadership using funding for the U.S. government as a vehicle for Washington’s priorities. 

Tags: ECONOMY, RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WHITE HOUSE
Posted on: Sep 13 10:02

ISIS killed seven US-backed Kurdish SDF fighters on Monday as part of an ongoing operation at the camp housing tens of thousands of former ISIS fighters.

ISIS released a video showing the killing of six Kurds who had been captured in the operation. The six were all captured alive and executed later.

The US and the SDF took effectively all of the ISIS territory in Syria, and herded the remnants, including civilians, into camps. What was to become of the camps was never decided, but the Kurds were expected to police them in an open-ended manner.

There have been reports ongoing about unrest in the camps, and claims that ISIS remnants were using the areas as ideological recruitment tools. The threat was always that this would lead to blowback, and such is apparently what happened.

Tags: SYRIA
Posted on: Sep 13 10:01

Biden’s corrupt Justice Department seized phones of two top Trump advisors in the past week.

By: orraz
Tags: CURRENT EVENTS
Posted on: Sep 13 09:55

 On the first day back to school, Jewish students attending the liberal University of Wisconsin at Madison, were welcomed with anti-Semitic graffiti and harassment.

By: orraz
Tags: CURRENT EVENTS
Posted on: Sep 13 09:54

Armenia and Russia have agreed on joint steps to stabilise the situation along Armenia’s border with Azerbaijan after deadly overnight clashes, officials in Yerevan said.

Armenia’s defence minister Suren Papikyan said he spoke with his counterpart Sergei Shoigu on Tuesday and they both “agreed to take necessary steps to stabilise the situation”.

Tags: ASIA, EUROPE, RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA
Posted on: Sep 13 09:52

A Swiss billboard is making the rounds on social media depicting a young woman on the telephone. The caption reads, "Does the neighbor heat the apartment to over 19 degrees (66F)? Please inform us." While the Swiss government has dismissed the poster as a fake, the penalties Swiss citizens face for daring to warm their homes are very real. According to the Swiss newspaper Blick, those who violate the 66 degree heating limit could face as many as three years in prison!

Prison time for heating your home? In the “free” world? How is it possible in 2022, when Switzerland and the rest of the political west have achieved the greatest economic success in history, that the European continent faces a winter like something out of the dark ages?

Sanctions.

While long promoted – often by those opposed to war – as a less destructive alternative to war, sanctions are in reality acts of war. And as we know with interventionism and war, the result is often unintended consequences and even blowback.

Tags: ECONOMY, EUROPE
Posted on: Sep 13 09:51

The UK and Commonwealth may be mourning the passing of Queen Elizabeth II yesterday. I am in mourning as well, but for a very different reason: the gathering in the Ramstein air base in Germany yesterday reshuffled the deck on Western military and financial assistance to Ukraine, raising contributions to the ongoing holy crusade against Russia from still more nations and adding new, still more advanced precision strike weapons to the mix of deliveries to Kiev. It was an open summons to the Kremlin to escalate in turn, as were the test firing the same day of a new intercontinental rocket, the Minuteman III, from Vandenberg air base in California and the unannounced visit to Kiev yesterday of not only Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who was featured in Western media accounts, but also other top officials of the Biden administration. The most notorious member of this delegation was surely Blinken’s deputy, Victoria Nuland, who had stage managed the February 2014 coup that put in power in Kiev the Russia-hating regime that Zelensky now heads.

The Russians may be compelled to take the bait due to the course of military action on the ground. As now becomes clear, they have just suffered some losses in very heavy ground and artillery fighting these past few days around Kharkov. The Ukrainian gains were facilitated by the advanced weaponry recently arrived from NATO countries, by the targeting data they are receiving from the U.S. and from off-stage tactical direction from NATO officers. By ‘take the bait,’ I mean the Russians may escalate to all out war on Ukraine. This question figured prominently in yesterday’s major news and political talk show programs of Russian state television. I will go into these matters in some detail below.

Tags: EUROPE, RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE, WMD
Posted on: Sep 13 09:49

The United States and 11 NATO members have started large-scale military drills in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Dubbed “Dynamic Mariner,” the war games will put several NATO ships in a region with a major Russian military presence, at a time of soaring tensions between Moscow and the West. 

The war games are led by NATO Allied Maritime Command, or MARCOM, and will begin Tuesday and run through September 22. It is unclear how many American soldiers are a part of the 1,500 NATO sailors taking part. At least the USS Forrest Sherman is participating. 

Dynamic Mariner includes 50 surface ships, five submarines, five patrol planes and helicopters from the United States, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Romania, Spain and Turkey.

MARCOM Deputy Commander French Navy Vice Admiral Didier Piaton said this year’s war games are the largest in the Dynamic Mariner series. “This year’s event includes more assets than ever before, facilitating increased interoperability between our nations and enhancing operational readiness,” he said. 

According to a press release from the US Navy, Dynamic Mariner will engage in cross-exercises with Turkish forces to conduct “surface, air, anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfa

Tags: EUROPE, RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE
Posted on: Sep 13 09:48

Israeli authorities forced a Palestinian woman to demolish her own house on Sunday, in the East Jerusalem village of Silwan, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

WAFA correspondent said that the Israeli municipality in Jerusalem forced Nasreen Abu Tayeh to demolish her house, under the pretext that it was built without a permit.

Tags: ISRAEL
Posted on: Sep 13 09:48

A Jewish group in Germany has filed criminal charges against Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid and defense minister Benny Gantz over the bombardment they ordered in Gaza this summer.

The Israeli surprise attack from 5-8 August left some 50 Palestinians dead, including 17 children. At least 360 people were injured.

“This was a supposed preemptive strike that was carried out without a concrete threat,” Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Middle East said on Sunday.

“In public, this excessive attack was largely portrayed as self-defense against Palestinian Islamic Jihad, who in fact only fired rockets in response to the Israeli bombardment,” the group added. “But even in the opposite case, there would be no justification for such a scale of civilian suffering and destruction.”

“Israel, thanks to international – including German – complicity, has the most modern weapons technology at its disposal and is of course capable of carrying out precise attacks,” Jewish Voice stated.

Tags: GERMANY, ISRAEL
Posted on: Sep 13 09:47

Former President Donald Trump’s lawyers might be going for the legal jugular in the ongoing fight between the Biden Justice Department and the former president over classified information seized from his Mar-a-Lago home on Aug. 8. 

It’s been over a month, and while some information appears to be classified—the government over-classifies everything—the critical legal area that’s glossed over is that Trump probably was well within his legal rights to possess them. Some documents taken by FBI agents were Time magazine covers, while others were empty folders. The president has near-absolute authority to declassify any record, a power affirmed by the Supreme Court in 1988.

Tags: CURRENT EVENTS, DICTATORSHIP, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION, WHITE HOUSE
Posted on: Sep 13 09:46