“The story of its ruin is simple and obvious; and, instead of inquiring why the Roman Empire was destroyed, we should rather be surprised that it had subsisted so long. The victorious legions, who, in distant wars, acquired the vices of strangers and mercenaries, first oppressed the freedom of the republic, and afterwards violated the majesty of the purple. The emperors, anxious for their personal safety and the public peace, were reduced to the base expedient of corrupting the discipline which rendered them alike formidable to their sovereign and to the enemy; the vigor of the military government was relaxed, and finally dissolved, by the partial institutions of Constantine; and the Roman world was overwhelmed by a deluge of Barbarians.” — Edward Gibbon. The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Chapter 38 “General Observations on the Fall of the Roman Empire in the West”

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Paradevices

 

Buckle up. This is going to be a long one, but I think the topic deserves a deep dive.

What a mess. Are there any grownups in the house?  This is what happens in a world in which no one trusts anyone anymore, integrity is treated as an obsolete concept, both information and legacy media have become weaponized to such an extent that what passes for official reality becomes just a funhouse hall of mirrors, and the experience, intellect and maturity of those entrusted to manage these matters is just not up to the task.

Yesterday I published a substack article titled “All Along the Watchtower”, which posed the question “Would the Russian invasion of Ukraine be justified if it were for biodefense?”. 

Since then, we have had a flood of new information drop:

1)    Testimony of Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland to Senator Marco Rubio, in which she admits that Ukraine has biological research facilities.

2)    Epoch times’ report “US State Department Denies Russian Allegations of Biological Weapons in Ukraine”.

3)    “US Is Protecting ‘Biological Research Facilities’ in Ukraine From Russia: Official”.  Another excellent article by Epoch times, which has seemingly become one of the last remaining bastions of “old school” journalism in a major print news format.

4)    And an insightful interpretation by journalist Glenn Greenwald via his often brilliant and occasionally sarcastic substack, entitled “Victoria Nuland: Ukraine Has "Biological Research Facilities," Worried Russia May Seize Them” with the subheading “The neocon's confession sheds critical light on the U.S. role in Ukraine, and raises vital questions about these labs that deserve answers.”

Tags: RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WMD
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California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law on May 23, allowing Arizona doctors to travel to the Golden State on a temporary basis to perform abortions for their patients.

Senate Bill 233, introduced by state Sen. Nancy Skinner of Oakland and Assembly Majority Leader Cecilia Aguiar-Curry of Winters, allows licensed Arizona abortion providers to come to California and provide abortions or abortion-related care to patients from Arizona who travel to the state for such procedures until near the end of this year.

The measure states that licensed Arizona doctors in good standing simply need to fill out an application form with the Medical Board of California or the Osteopathic Medical Board of California to perform abortions. Provided they meet certain requirements, their approval will be granted within five business days.

Arizona licensed doctors who chose to come to the state temporarily will only be able to do so until Nov. 30, when California officials expect Arizona voters to approve an abortion measure on their state ballot.

The measure, which is being implemented in partnership with the California Legislative Women’s Caucus, contains an urgency clause and takes effect immediately.

Webmaster addition: Bit problem! Doctors must be licensed in the state in which they practice medicine. If those Arizona doctors are not licensed in California, they could be in serious legal trouble!

Tags: CURRENT EVENTS
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We are tracking potentially severe weather conditions in the Tri-State for your Sunday before Memorial Day.

The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Union, Gallatin, Saline, Daviess, Henderson, Hopkins, McLean and Muhlenberg counties.

A tornado watch has also been issued for multiple counties including Edwards, Gallatin, Hamilton, Saline, Wabash, Wayne, White, Henderson, Hopkins, McLean and Muhlenberg counties.

The entire Tri-State has been classified as a level 3 enhanced threat for potentially severe weather for Sunday.

We will keep you updated throughout the day as new warnings come in.

Tags: SCIENCE/ HEALTH/ CLIMATE/ NATURE
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Money in all its forms attracts quasi-religious beliefs and convictions. This makes it difficult to discuss with anything resembling objectivity. But given the centrality of money (and its sibling, greed) in human affairs, let's press on and ask: would returning to the Gold Standard (i.e. gold as money / gold-backed currency) resolve our most pressing monetary problems?

The conviction that the answer is "yes" is widespread. In this view, President Nixon "closing the gold window," in 1971, i.e. ending the convertibility of the US dollar to gold in international foreign exchange (FX) markets, is the Original Sin that doomed us to the inflationary Hell of fiat currency, i.e. currency unbacked by anything tangible such as gold or silver.

In this view, the only way to avoid the consequences of this Original Sin--the eventual reduction of fiat currency to zero value via hyper-inflation as the currency is "printed" without restraint--is to return to the gold standard.

So far, so good, but from here on in it gets tricky. We have a long history of precious metals being the only form of money in various economies, and an almost as long history of paper money augmenting precious-metal "real money" (in China, for example) and the issuance of copper coinage to grease small transactions.

Gold-backed currency rolls off the tongue rather easily, but what exactly does this mean? In theory, it means every unit of paper / digital currency in circulation can be converted on demand to a physical quantity of gold or silver at an exchange rate either set by the nation-state's government or by the market.

Tags: ECONOMY
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Secret talks between Iran and the United States in Oman were making good progress, but have now been jeopardised by the sudden death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his foreign minister.

Brett McGurk, US President Joe Biden's senior Middle East adviser, held indirect negotiations earlier this month with Ali Bagheri Kani, Iran’s point man for negotiations with the West, according to three Iranian sources close to the talks.

The talks took place in Muscat, which hosted secret meetings between Tehran and Washington a decade ago that led to the 2015 JCPOA (joint comprehensive plan of action) nuclear agreement.

They were the first round of discussions between the US and Iran since January.

Tags: IRAN, ISRAEL, PALESTINE, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE
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President Joe Biden has come under fire again over a demonstrably false claim that when he came into office inflation was already very high.

In January of 2021, when Biden was inaugurated, the inflation rate that month was 1.4 percent, among the lowest in recent history. Biden claimed last week that it was 9 percent, a statement that was immediately fact-checked by ABC and other outlets.

“No president has had the run we’ve had in creating jobs and bringing down inflation, It was 9% when I came to office — 9%,” Biden told CNN’s Erin Burnett in a rare interview.

Biden defended his economic policies after the host pressed him on the fact that “voters by a wide margin trust [former President Donald] Trump more on the economy.”

Tags: ECONOMY, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION, WHITE HOUSE
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With the election just around the corner, the last thing Joe Biden needs is more bad press. Back in 2020, it appears the mainstream media and federal agencies worked around the clock to protect Biden’s reputation, especially concerning his son Hunter.

Since then, the floodgates have broken. And countless scandals, accusations, and investigations have exposed Hunter and his father’s questionable behavior.

Hunter Biden is facing a court trial regarding tax charges. But it looks like his problems are about to get even worse. A House committee just voted to release documents related to Hunter’s latest scandal. And this might really upset Biden’s applecart.

From the New York Post:
The House Ways and Means Committee voted Wednesday to release 100 pages of new evidence that shows Hunter Biden lied under oath to Congress during his Feb. 28 deposition.

The evidence, provided by IRS whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler, who probed the first son’s finances, reveals Hunter “indisputably” lied at least three times during his sworn testimony, the panel’s majority said after voting in a closed-door executive session for its release.

Tags: POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION, WHITE HOUSE
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Democrats and Republicans have tried for decades to manipulate voting maps to establish areas that will benefit one side or the other. Each time there is a shift in which party has the most power in state legislatures, the majority party tries to rework the voting maps.

This always sets off a legal fight that at some point must be settled in court. These cases usually extend to the highest court in the nation, the U.S. Supreme Court.

The 2024 presidential election is already a contentious battle and any advantage gained by voting map changes could lead to critical decisions being handed down at the ballot box. This prompted Democrats in South Carolina to challenge Republican efforts to shift voting districts, but their efforts failed.

From Fox News:
The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday to reverse a lower court’s decision that said a South Carolina redistricting map was unconstitutional, rejecting the idea that it was racially discriminatory.

In a 6-3 decision, written by Justice Samuel Alito, the high court said that “a party challenging a map’s constitutionality must disentangle race and politics if it wishes to prove that the legislature was motivated by race as opposed to partisanship. Second, in assessing a legislature’s work, we start with a presumption that the legislature acted in good faith.”

Tags: POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION
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Though some recent data has indicated large percentages of voters are breaking toward former President Donald Trump, new polls show President Joe Biden still has a sizeable lead among people who will be counting the ballots.

Despite continuing to build what at times has appeared to be a massive lead, Trump reportedly still struggles to make gains among the small number of people who are in charge of counting votes in November.

"For whatever reason, he just can't seem to gain traction with people counting the ballots," said political analyst Blake Rumsey of the Institute of Collecting Information. "Even though he has made significant gains among multiple demographics and voting blocks, our polling of people who count the votes shows Biden still holding an obvious lead. Honestly, I don't even know if it's possible for Trump to win that group. They seem pretty devout."

Tags: HUMOR, VOTE FRAUD, WHITE HOUSE
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In yet another blatant display of partisan bias, a sitting federal judge appointed by Bill Clinton, Senior Judge Michael Ponsor, has stepped into the political fray with an extrajudicial attack on Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito. This unwarranted commentary comes amid critical decisions pending before the Court, highlighting the Democratic Party’s relentless campaign to undermine conservative voices in the judiciary.

Tags: POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION
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While insisting they don't support "unilateral changes" to the status quo, US and EU officials won't criticize Taipei's blatant provocation

The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) initiated a significant event, Operation Joint Sword-2024A, on Thursday. It involved the creation of a simulated blockade around the self-governing island of Taiwan, as well as areas around the islands of Kinmen, Matsu, Wuqiu, and Dongyin. It's worth noting that this is the largest military drill of its kind in a year and follows the recent inauguration of Taiwanese President Lai Ching-te, who has made it clear that he will escalate the issue of formal independence.

During his address, Lai broke his promise of maintaining the status quo with the mainland. As Kathrine Hille, writing for the Financial Times, noted, he "used conspicuously different language, while also spelling out some of the facts that most jar Beijing." 

While Tsai Ing-wen, Lai's predecessor, would reference "the Beijing authorities" or "the other side of the Strait," which do not explicitly state that China and Taiwan are separate entities, the new leader mentioned "China" throughout his address. 

Tags: CHINA/TAIWAN, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE
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SpaceX CEO Elon Musk recently announced that Starship’s fourth integrated flight test, IFT-4, could be just days away. 

With that important milestone just around the corner, SpaceX has seemingly faced a fiery setback. Footage from NASASpaceflight shows a massive explosion during a Raptor engine test.

SpaceX has yet to provide an update on the explosion, which took place at its Boca Chica Starbase facilities in southern Texas. The footage shows SpaceX’s engine test pad going up in flame. 

The footage started a little after 4:12 pm local time. Roughly 14 seconds after ignition, the Raptor engine shut off. As the vapor surrounding the test tower dissipated, a fire appeared to start underneath the engine. These flames traveled upwards, causing a second explosion to engulf the entire tower.

Tags: SCIENCE/ HEALTH/ CLIMATE/ NATURE
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An unknown force purportedly demolished a joint Raytheon-DARPA clandestine weapons plant at Raytheon’s campus in Tucson, Arizona, Wednesday night, according to a U.S. Army Cyber Command specialists who intercepted a telephone conversation between an unidentified party at the location and Assistant Secretary of Defense for Sustainment Christopher Lowman, a Biden disciple.

On the call, which took place at 6:00 a.m. Thursday, the unidentified Raytheon employee, speaking frenetically, informed Lowman that intruders had defeated security, slain six security guards, and destroyed invaluable, irreplaceable hardware stored in a Raytheon-DARPA warehouse in southeast Tucson.

He told Lowman the damage was “catastrophic” and that he had already informed Raytheon CEO Gregory Hayes and DARPA Director Stefanie Tompkins of the attack.

In what might have been an injudicious slip of the tongue, Lowman asked whether data on the “camouflaged unmanned aerial assault program” had been stolen from the warehouse.

The Raytheon employee said time would tell and disconnected the call.

Webmaster addition: How many saboteurs and spies have entered this nation through Biden's open borders?

Tags: IMMIGRATION/GLOBALISM, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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A New York City liquor store owner could face seven years behind bars after a video shows he shot a would-be thief who had been kicked off the premises along with an accomplice. But the head of a large bodega organization is calling on prosecutors to drop the charges. 

Francisco Valerio, 53, who owns Franja Wine and Liquors in Ridgewood, Queens, caught the two shoplifters stealing liquor bottles from the store at around 7:40 p.m. Monday and booted them out with the help of another clerk, the Queens District Attorney’s Office says. Video from inside the store shared with Fox News Digital shows one of the suspects dressed in red trying to stuff a liquor bottle into his jacket.

The situation outside then turned violent when 20-year-old suspect Kevin Pullatasi charged at the liquor store door. He pushed the door against the store worker, who responds by waving his hand at him as a shouting match ensues, video shows. The store worker is the owner’s brother.

Pullatasi then walked away before dropping his bag and charging at the door again. Pullatasi can be seen on video trying to kick and punch the store worker.

Webmaster addition: Why are criminals coddled and victims punished for defending themselves? Because the government is itself criminal!

Tags: CURRENT EVENTS, RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS
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In March Deep State expert Michael Benz alleged that Hunter Biden was untouchable because he was previously working with the CIA on a project in Ukraine.

Why the CIA would have anything to do with Hunter Biden knowing about his shocking drug and hooker addiction is a mystery.

Hunter was hired by the Burisma company in Ukraine just two months after he was discharged from military for smoking crack.

Federal documents reveal that the CIA blocked Hunter Biden’s fixer and fellow pot smoker Ken Morris from testifying to the IRS who was investigating Hunter’s alleged financial crimes.

Tags: COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION, WHITE HOUSE
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A police officer originally from China has been fired by the New York Police Department after being entangled in a federal investigation of alleged illegal activities of a Chinese foreign agent, according to NYPD disciplinary records first revealed by Documented. Lieutenant Steven Li, who worked at the Internal Affairs Bureau, was kicked out of the force on February 16.

Investigations by the FBI and the NYPD found that between the end of 2019 to the fall of 2021, Li had helped a Chinese national named Sun Hoi Ying to connect with a person targeted by the Chinese government. According to court and NYPD documents, Sun was alleged to have been paid by the Chinese government to come to the U.S. to conduct “Operation Fox Hunt,” a program pursued by China’s Ministry of Public Security to repatriate alleged Chinese fugitives, often by bypassing authorities in foreign countries where these people had settled.

After he was introduced to Sun by an acquaintance, Li brokered meetings for Sun in New York with a person unnamed in the documents, who was accused of having embezzled money from a Chinese state-owned company before moving to the U.S. in 2001. According to the NYPD’s disciplinary document, In the process, Li had made it clear to the victim, whom he knew from community events, that he was a police officer, and that he didn’t represent Sun or the Chinese government, and was only facilitating the communication so the two parties could resolve the dispute. 

Tags: CHINA/TAIWAN, CURRENT EVENTS
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Artificial intelligence (AI) and its integration within various sectors is moving at a speed that couldn’t have been imagined just a few years ago. As a result, the United States now stands on the brink of a new era of cybersecurity challenges. With AI technologies becoming increasingly sophisticated, the potential for their exploitation by malicious actors grows exponentially.

Because of this evolving threat, government agencies like the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), alongside private sector entities, must urgently work to harden America’s defenses to account for any soft spots that may be exploited. Failure to do so could have dire consequences on a multitude of levels, especially as we approach the upcoming U.S. presidential election, which is likely to be the first to contend with the profound implications of AI-driven cyber warfare.

AI’s transformative potential is undeniable, revolutionizing industries from healthcare to finance. However, this same potential poses a significant threat when harnessed by cybercriminals. According to a report by the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the rise of AI is expected to lead to a marked increase in cyberattacks in the coming years. AI can automate and enhance the scale, speed, and sophistication of these attacks, making them more difficult to detect and counteract.

Tags: COMPUTERS/INTERNET/AI, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION
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By his own admission, then Vice President Joe Biden used upwards of $1 billion of US government loan guarantees in a bribery coercion scheme to threaten the Ukraine president to immediately terminate the Prosecutor General who was investigating the corrupt practices of Burisma Holdings, as well as the involvement of board director Hunter Biden. This criminal act constitutes a federal felony crime and disqualifies Biden from holding public office.

All the hard evidence and applicable laws follow in this straightforward legal analysis.

Tags: POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION, RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WHITE HOUSE
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A massive barrage of rockets targeted Tel Aviv and central Israel for the first time in months. The rockets were fired from Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. 

The IDF confirmed on Sunday that eight projectiles were identified crossing the Rafah area into Israeli territory. A number of the projectiles were intercepted by the IDF Aerial Defense Array, the IDF announced. 

Tags: ISRAEL, PALESTINE, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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