"When you believe your own propaganda, you make bad decisions!" -- Michael Rivero

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All it would take would would be one phone call: “Stop now or the U.S. will do a U-turn. We will support Palestine rather than Israel tomorrow morning if you don't stop this genocide.”

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Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

We need to start thinking outside the current system, which has no solutions.

Our convictions about money are quasi-religious: heretics are burned at the stake. I'm not sure which stake I'll be tied to, because all the conventional choices--fiat currency, sound money (gold, Bitcoin) or debt-free currency (a.k.a. MMT)--are all fatally flawed.

To understand why, consider the wild cards in any monetary system: global trade and credit. Let's start with credit, which as David Graeber explained in his book Debt: The First 5,000 Years, has been an integral component of monetary arrangements since the dawn of civilization.

Taxes must be paid and seed purchased for the next crop, and so credit in some form--notched sticks, bills of sale, purchase orders, loans--is the lifeblood of commerce and state revenues. Credit naturally divides into short-term commercial credit--credit extended until the goods or payment are delivered--and longer term credit secured by collateral.

In traditional economies in which gold and silver are money, credit was generally limited to commerce, as credit based on loaning surpluses of gold and silver was limited by the scarcity of those metals. But the demand for credit did not diminish; rather, it increased, which is why small banks (that often went bust) emerged in the 1820s in America to meet the demand from small enterprises for credit to expand.

In an economy in which gold is the only money, credit is limited to a percentage of gold held in reserves, as much of the reserves must be held to fund customer redemptions / withdrawals. This limits the availability of credit.

In a fractional reserve banking system such as ours, one ounce of gold held in reserve is sufficient collateral for a loan 10 times the value of the reserve: $2,300 in gold enables the issuance of $23,000 in new money, i.e. a loan of $23,000, as every loan is new money created by the act of issuance.

What happens to "gold-backed money" when credit expands the supply of money expands 10-fold? The gold reserves are now spread over a much larger sum of money. The actual value of the gold backing each unit of money declines to a fraction of its initial value.

In other words, if credit is allowed to create money, then the "gold-backed" valuation of each unit is massively diluted. If credit is limited to surplus gold/silver loaned at interest, the sum of credit is a tiny fraction of all money in circulation.

Ancient Rome offers an example of a system in which only gold-silver were money. 

When the empire's silver mines in Spain were depleted, the supply of new money dried up and scarcity forced authorities to shave the actual silver content of coinage, the older higher-value coinage was quickly hoarded and left circulation: this is Gresham's law, that bad money drives good money out of circulation.

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The House Democrats, not the Republicans, Respond to Trump’s Plea to Kill the Unconstitutional FISA Act, while the Republicans Vote for the Police State Measure

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) was passed as a result of the public hysteria that was orchestrated in response to a non-existent “Muslim terrorist threat” that was spun off of 9/11, the only claimed Muslim terrorist act in the US, an event now understood as a neoconservative operation to create “the New Pearl Harbor” necessary for their wars in the Middle East against Israel’s enemies.

The FISA Act was totally unconstitutional as it vitiated the US Constitution’s prohibitions against arrest and spying without warrants. The FISA Act is a police state measure and nothing else. That Americans, Congress, and the federal courts accepted it proves the absence of any commitment to freedom.

In this pre-election fundraising season we hear from Republicans how much they do for freedom and all that they are going to do to preserve it. But what do they really do?

Despite President Trump’s plea to the House Republicans, a plea from the Republican Presidential Nominee and in the opinion of many Republicans the actual President of the US as his reelection was stolen with Republican Party complicity by the Democrats, the Republican Speaker of the House and all but 19 Republicans tried to keep the unconstitutional FISA Act, which expires April 19, in force by re-authorizing it.

The Democrats, not wanting Trump, the next President, to have the power to do to them what they did to him, voted uniformly with 19 Republicans to kill the police state act Americans have lived under for many years by a vote of 226 against and 193 for.

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A former employee of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is reportedly giving information to Republicans amid their probe into how federal funds were used by her office.

On Thursday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan appeared on Fox Business Network's Mornings with Maria to speak about a report from the Washington Free Beacon about an investigation into how Willis's office used federal funds, following information provided by a whistleblower.

"God bless the whistleblower [who] came forward," Jordan said. "We've talked with the whistleblower, she's giving information to the press, to us. Now the Department of Justice is looking into this. All kinds of problems with Fani Willis and this ridiculous investigation she's run on President Trump and others."

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Back in 2019, presidential candidate Joe Biden smugly vowed to, 'reverse Trump's detrimental' border policies.

Now in 2024, he declares that he'll reinstate Trump's border policies.

He takes us all for fools.

On Tuesday, the President said he's eyeing new executive action, reportedly to be revealed in the next few weeks, to institute a Trumpian shutdown of migrants arriving by the tens of thousands every month.

This is, apparently, a presidential power that's been hiding in plain sight for years - an existing authority that allows U.S. law enforcement to expel any individual caught crossing illegally into the country.

That would fix things fast.

And it would be long past due.

But, curiously, just three months ago, our 81-year-old Commander-in-Chief, who promises to single-handedly restore American democracy, complained that he was absolutely powerless when it came to immigration.

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US credit-card delinquency rates were the highest on record in the fourth quarter, according to a Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia report.

Almost 3.5% of card balances were at least 30 days past due as of the end of December, the Philadelphia Fed said. That’s the highest figure in the data series going back to 2012, and up by about 30 basis points from the previous quarter. The share of debts that are 60 and 90 days late also climbed.

“Stress among cardholders was further underscored in payment behavior, as the share of accounts making minimum payments rose 34 basis points to a series high,” according to the report.

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FBI Director Christopher Wray on Thursday will warn Congress that the U.S. is at risk of terror attacks from within that are fashioned by ISIS.

He will say the 'greatest terrorism threat' to the U.S. is 'posed by lone actors or small cells of individuals who typically radicalize to violence online.' 

The number of domestic terrorism investigations over the past four years has 'more than doubled,' Wray will say according to his opening remarks obtained by DailyMail.com.

The threats are coming from primarily racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists (RMVEs) and anti-government and anti-authority violent extremists (AGAAVEs).

At the end of fiscal year 2023, the FBI was conducting 2,700 investigations within its domestic terrorism program and 4,000 probes with its international program. 

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Despite being ordered to pay 'crippling' fines of $800 per day a former investigative reporter said that she would still not reveal the confidential sources behind her reporting. 

Catherine Herridge is an award-winning journalist who served as an investigative reporter for CBS News from 2019 to 2024 and before then at Fox News from 1996 to 2019. 

She is known for her reporting on Hunter Biden's infamous laptop and for her February termination from CBS News that resulted in hundreds of her files being seized and her getting locked out of her office. 

On Thursday, Herridge testified before the House Judiciary Committee about the personal costs she has shouldered to protect her sources and advocated for the PRESS Act, which aims to protect journalists from revealing their sources. 

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They're said to be low in fat, good for cholesterol and an overall healthier choice than the real deal.

But a new trial suggests that plant-based fake meat products are not in fact a nutritious choice - and could increase the risk of heart disease.

The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that people who ate a diet high in fake meats like Beyond burgers and Impossible burgers for eight weeks had higher blood sugars than those who ate real meat.

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A leading doctor has warned that Ozempic is not a fix-all and described its side effects as 'scary' and 'quite disturbing'.

Nutrition expert Dr Mark Hyman said that he expects even more unintended effects to come to light over time, now that millions of Americans are being prescribed the weight-loss drug every month.

The New York doctor - who has written books touting the benefits of a mostly plant-based diet - told a podcast this week that two things frightened him about Ozempic and its sister drugs.

The first was bowel blockages - which is when food becomes stuck in the intestines, where if left untreated it can cut off blood supply and kill. 

The second was inflammation of the pancreas, which can also be deadly.

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Ukrainian commander Odin’s lower leg was blown off in a mine explosion last year. He’s now back in the trenches.

“I had offers to go back to my local academy as a teacher or to work at a draft office in Odesa,” the 32-year-old from the 28th Separate Mechanised Brigade said from a cramped bunker on the front line in the eastern region of Donetsk.

“I said I’m not interested in these positions.”

Mango, a 28-year-old tank gunner, saw his hand shredded by shrapnel two years ago during fighting in Mariupol before he was captured by the Russians. He too has returned to the front, as logistics chief for a battalion in the Azov Brigade, which held out for months in defence of the southern city.


Ukraine’s drained and depleted army needs all the help it can get. It is being driven back by its far larger, more powerful enemy around the eastern city of Avdiivka while coming under increasing pressure at other sections of the front.

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Hours of private testimony by two of the top State Department officials who oversaw the evacuation from Afghanistan lays bare the confusion at the heart of the operation, and how they failed to respond to warning signs that the Taliban was sweeping across the country.

The result was a chaotic operation at Kabul's airport in August 2021 with Americans scrambling to get on flights after the extremist group had seized control of the country. 

American citizens had to pass through checkpoints run by the same gunmen who had spent years battling U.S. forces.

Yet even as the Pentagon prepositioned forces to support an evacuation as ground conditions worsened, the officials, Brian McKeon and Derek Chollet, said their priority had been to work out how to keep the U.S. embassy open. 

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Datacenter power issues in Ireland may be coming to a head amid reports from customers that Amazon is restricting resources users can spin up in that nation, even directing them to other AWS regions across Europe instead. Energy consumed by datacenters is a growing concern, especially in places such as Ireland where there are clusters of facilities around Dublin that already account for a significant share of the country's energy supply. This may be leading to restrictions on how much infrastructure can be used, given the power requirements.
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France has shifted its naval posture from intercepting drug traffickers and poachers to training for a conventional war, Rear Admiral Jacques Mallard has told Politico.

Mallard commands France’s only carrier battle group, built around the nuclear-powered Charles de Gaulle. He spoke about the changes in an exclusive interview with the EU edition of Politico published on Wednesday.

“We’re moving from a world where we were pretty free to do as we pleased to one where we feel threatened on a more regular basis,” Mallard said. “We now train for other missions, in particular what we call high-intensity warfare.”

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Embarrassing, as its officials are in the US to discuss Olympics cyber threats
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Russia will do its utmost to identify the plotters and masterminds of the Crocus City Hall terrorist attack and make their names public, Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko said at a meeting with the heads of international affairs committees of the BRICS countries’ parliaments.

"We will do everything to find out who ordered this brutal, bloody crime, who financed it, and who supplied the weapons. We will definitely bring this investigation to its logical conclusion. And we will disclose to the whole world who was behind and who organized the mass murder of civilians, including women and children," Matviyenko said.

At the same time, she stated that a number of countries "are trying to put pressure on the public opinion from the outside and say in advance who is guilty and who is not guilty."

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Lisa D. Cook is one of the world’s most powerful economists. She taught economics at Harvard University and Michigan State University and served on the Obama administration’s Council of Economic Advisers before being appointed, in 2022, to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, which controls the interest rates and money supply of the United States.

Despite her pedigree, questions have long persisted about her academic record. Her publication history is remarkably thin for a tenured professor, and her published work largely focuses on race activism rather than on rigorous, quantitative economics. Her nomination to the Fed required Vice President Kamala Harris to cast a tie-breaking vote; by contrast, her predecessor in the seat, Janet Yellen, now Treasury secretary, was confirmed unanimously.

The quality of her scholarship has also received criticism. Her most heralded work, 2014’s “Violence and Economic Activity: Evidence from African American Patents, 1870 to 1940,” examined the number of patents by black inventors in the past, concluding that the number plummeted in 1900 because of lynchings and discrimination. Other researchers soon discovered that the reason for the sudden drop in 1900 was that one of the databases Cook relied on stopped collecting data in that year. The true number of black patents, one subsequent study found, might be as much as 70 times greater than Cook’s figure, effectively debunking the study’s premise.

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Ukraine continues its attacks on Zaporozhye nuclear power plant. International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Grossi warned that it came “quite close” to a nuclear accident on Sunday after it was attacked by drones.

Dr. Chris Busby, a physical chemist and scientific secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Risk, shares his opinion about what the non-stop Ukrainian attacks on the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant could result in with Sputnik.

We all know the Biblical story of the end of Samson. Having been betrayed and captured by the Philistines, Samson ends his life, and all the others around him, by exerting his great strength and pulling down the pillar he was chained to. The building falls down, killing him and all his captors. This has always been my worry about what I will call the Ukrainian conflict.

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New documents show that Dr. Anthony Fauci's top U.S. health aide intentionally tried to hide his discussions about the origins of COVID-19 by using his personal email. 

Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic Chairman Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, claimed a whistleblower provided him new bombshell materials obtained by DailyMail.com.

The unnamed whistleblower revealed emails showing that Dr. David Morens - Fauci's top aide at the National Institutes of Health - allegedly used his personal Gmail account to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 to skirt federal transparency laws.

At the time, Morens' official government work email would have been subject to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests that could have publicized his day-to-day communications.

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FBI files requested by Judicial Watch on the death of Ashli Babbitt have revealed that the bureau considered classifying her as a terrorist after she was shot and killed by Capitol Police on January 6th.

The information emerged from 62 redacted documents obtained by Judicial Watch through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

“It is beyond belief that the Biden FBI gave Ashli Babbitt’s killer a free pass while engaging in a malicious months-long ‘criminal’ investigation of Babbitt herself,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton stated.

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A court in Vietnam on Thursday ordered the death penalty for a real estate tycoon found guilty in a financial fraud case totalling more than $12 billion US.

Vietnamese state media called it the country's largest-ever case of financial fraud.

The conviction of Truong My Lan came amid a government anti-corruption crackdown by Communist Party general secretary Nguyen Phu Trong.

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