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Kyle Rittenhouse says he was an Andrew Yang fan but is now "trying to stay out of politics" after his trial

Rittenhouse, who was found not guilty in his homicide trial last week, told Fox News' Tucker Carlson that he was later impressed by Trump. Kyle Rittenhouse at his trial in Kenosha, Wisconsin.Sean Krajacic/Pool via Getty Images Rittenhouse told Fox News he was an Andrew Yang supporter before the furor over the Kenosha shooting. He said he was then attracted to Trump's policies. Rittenhouse was acquitted on all counts in his homicide trial last week. Kyle Rittenhouse said he used to be a fan of the former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, but that he was "trying to stay out of politics" now that his trial is over.Rittenhouse was last week acquitted of all charges in his homicide trial last Friday. He was on trial for fatally shooting two men and injuring a third during civil unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last August.Since the shooting, Rittenhouse has become somewhat of a right-wing hero, and was pictured in January flashing a hand sign associated with white supremacy. After his acquittal he posed for photos with former President Donald Trump, who called him a "really good young guy."But in an extensive interview with the Fox News host Tucker Carlson released Wednesday, Rittenhouse said he used to be a Yang fan."I'm going to get a lot of hate for this but I was a pretty big Andrew Yang supporter before all this," he told Carlson."Were you really?" Carlson said. "You were part of the Yang Gang?""I was part of the Yang Gang," Rittenhouse said, adding Yang was "a good dude."Representatives for Yang did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.In a separate interview with NewsNation Now, which was aired Wednesday, Rittenhouse said he had no idea that the "OK" hand sign he flashed in January was associated with white supremacy. He also said that he didn't know that the men he posed with were associated with the Proud Boys.Rittenhouse previously accused President Joe Biden of defaming him by suggesting he was a white supremacist in a tweet last year.In his interview with Carlson, Rittenhouse went on to say that he then became attracted to Trump because of his stance on policing. "I wasn't really into politics. I didn't know much about Trump. I didn't know much about Biden. I went to a Trump rally because Trump supports the police. He's a businessman. That's what I liked about Trump. I didn't know much about politics. I was just a 17-year-old kid," he said."But you liked Andrew Yang," Carlson said."I liked Andrew Yang. I liked his policy a little bit," Rittenhouse said.Rittenhouse then said he had "been trying to stay out of politics" since his trial ended. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 25th, 2021

"Left Winger" Bill Ackman Says Kyle Rittenhouse Is "A Patriot Who Acted In Self-Defense", Media Assumes Twitter Account Hacked

'Left Winger' Bill Ackman Says Kyle Rittenhouse Is "A Patriot Who Acted In Self-Defense", Media Assumes Twitter Account Hacked Billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman is likely about to become the new poster-boy for white-supremacy, assigned to the junk heap of 'wrong' right-ward-thinking racists as he dares to suggest that Kyle Rittenhouse is an innocent "patriot" and may not be the nazi mass-murderer that the media has constantly defined him as for months. (sarcasm off). In a well reasoned Twitter thread this evening, Ackman details his thoughts about the Rittenhouse trial, starting with a shocker for many... "Last night, Neri [Ackman's wife] and I watched several hours of .#Kylerittenhouse direct testimony and cross examination. We came away believing that #Kyle is telling the truth and that he acted in self defense..." Last night, Neri and I watched several hours of .#Kylerittenhouse direct testimony and cross examination. We came away believing that #Kyle is telling the truth and that he acted in self defense. We found him to be a civic-minded patriot with a history of — Bill Ackman (@BillAckman) November 11, 2021 The thread continued... We found him to be a civic-minded patriot with a history of helping his community as an EMT and fireman in training, in his removing hate graffiti earlier that day from a local school, and ultimately in volunteering to protect a business during the night of August 25th in Kenosha.  Our first hand impressions of Kyle were materially different from those we had previously formed based on media reports and opinion pieces that we had consumed. I have always been frustrated to read an inaccurate press report about a subject I know well, yet somehow I continue to believe other articles in the same newspaper about subjects I know less well. Media and political bias are dividing our country and destroying lives. While we have not heard the entire trial, based on our assessment of Kyle on the stand, we believe that he will be found innocent by the jury. Often times, communities react negatively and even violently after a jury verdict where they are surprised by the outcome based on what they have previously read in the newspaper, seen on TV or more likely been served on social media. I encourage you to watch the trial, or at a minimum his testimony and cross examination, before you form a view of his guilt or innocence. With respect to my own political bias, I am not a gun owner, nor a member of the NRA. On balance, I support stronger gun regulations and removing loopholes in the sale of guns. Unfortunately it seems that society’s view of #kyle ‘s innocence depends more on one’s views about gun control rather than on what actually took place last August.  Kyle Rittenhouse’s life is at risk. Justice demands a fair trial. Society would benefit greatly if politics did not enter the court room and convict innocent people.  And that is where one might naturally end the conversation. A rational-thinking intelligent person laying out his own views on what he and his wife believe. However, Ackman tweeted one more tweet, which sums up everything about the global groupthink that dominates media... "Just got a call from the media asking if my Twitter account was hacked. That is, the reporter couldn’t conceive of the idea that I could believe that Kyle is innocent because I am not a right winger. Crazy. " Crazy indeed, Bill! Tyler Durden Thu, 11/11/2021 - 18:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 11th, 2021

Florida Court Reinstates Governor"s Ban On Masking Mandates In Schools

Florida Court Reinstates Governor's Ban On Masking Mandates In Schools Authored by Patricia Tolson via The Epoch Times, In Florida’s ongoing battle over masking mandates in schools, the First District Court of Appeal (DCA) overruled the decision of a Leon County circuit court judge on Wednesday, reinstating the governor’s ban on forced masking in schools. Some Leon County parents are cheering the ruling as a big win for parents’ rights and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. The Masking Battle In August, Leon County Circuit Judge John Cooper ruled that DeSantis exceeded his authority in banning forced masking in public schools. In September, the First DCA overruled Cooper. But the following week, Cooper ruled that his order to prevent the state from enforcing school mask mandates should take immediate effect. On Oct. 27 (pdf), the First DCA again overruled Cooper and emphasized three reasons why his ruling was wrong. To begin, the First DCA ruled that the case never should have gone to trial because the plaintiffs did not have standing. The plaintiffs, a group of parents and students, could not sue to protect the institutional authority of local school districts and the Florida Department of Health. “Those entities alone must advance their own institutional rights,” the First DCA wrote. Second, the plaintiffs were not harmed by DeSantis’ order because the order took no action against them. In fact, all the governor did was direct other state agencies to protect parental rights. Third, the plaintiffs’ claim of receiving injury because they were exposed to COVID-19 by unmasked students was not “concrete” or “palpable” enough to warrant judicial intervention in public health policy. Most notable was how the First DCA admonished Cooper for inventing his own legal theory to ultimately rule against the governor’s school mask policy by saying DeSantis somehow violated the Parents’ Bill of Rights by giving parents more rights. “While the Parents’ Bill of Rights undoubtedly played a role in the governor’s issuance of the executive order—and was even pleaded as an affirmative defense—the [Plaintiffs] never sought relief in their complaint based on an alleged violation of the Parents’ Bill of Rights,” the First DCA wrote. “They certainly never requested an injunction against a state administrative actor proceeding in some way in contravention of the Parents’ Bill of Rights.” Similar court battles are playing out in other Florida counties. While the full appeal in the Leon County case is still pending, Christina Pushaw, executive press secretary for DeSantis said “the preliminary ruling shows that the Plaintiffs have little chance of saving the trial court’s ruling, so this is a win for Governor DeSantis and parents’ rights in Florida!” “Florida now has the lowest COVID-19 case rate in the entire country,” Pushaw told The Epoch Times. “Infections statewide have declined more than 90 percent since schools in Florida opened. The rate of decline was the same for districts that had mask mandates and districts that followed state law by allowing parents to choose whether their kids wore masks or not.” According to the New York Times interactive map, COVID-19 cases in California as of Nov. 4 are nearly three times the rate in Florida per capita. Michigan has about five times Florida’s per capita COVID case rate. The map for Leon County, Florida, shows a 49 percent drop in the number of hospitalizations in a 14-day average between Aug. 6 and Nov. 4, with a test positivity rate of only five percent. However, while Orange and Duval Counties imposed more stringent, long-term mask mandates, their numbers are similar, suggesting that masks had little if any effect on the numbers. “There is no evidence to support the argument that forced-masking in schools had any impact on COVID case rates, pediatric or overall,” Pushaw said further. Parents Celebrate “Of course we’re on the way out of the COVID wave,” Priscilla West, a Leon County mom, told The Epoch Times. “Florida’s leadership understood all along that protecting the elderly was the top priority. For everyone else, this thing needed to run its course. Schools never should’ve been closed. Kids never should’ve been masked. Whether or not you believed masks did any good, healthy kids suffer a mild COVID illness. Their young bodies will never be better able to fight it than they are right now. Then they emerge with robust, lasting immunity, which is protective for society as a whole. Children shouldn’t be subjected to experimentation with this new mRNA technology. Schools have no business pushing medical therapies on people’s Minor children.” Another Leon County mom, LaDonna Wagers, told The Epoch Times: “I have attended and spoke at many Leon County school board meetings this fall. Despite our citing many studies that show masks have no significant effect on virus transmission and actually do more harm than good, the Leon County School board is more interested in ‘feel good’ mask mandates and virtue signaling than science and parental rights. The board also used the National School Board Association and Merrick Garland calling parents who speak out at school board meetings ‘domestic terrorists’ to now have parents who attend these meetings in Leon County go through a security check before entering the building. This will not intimidate us or stop us from continuing to speak out and stand up for our God-given rights of liberty and freedom!” Sharyn Kerwin, a Leon County mother with two children in the Leon County school system, says she is “thankful for a governor who leads with science and not with fear. “DeSantis has stood boldly and remained steadfast on his mission to protect the elderly and those at highest risk of serious outcomes from COVID infection while also demanding that we protect Americans’ God-given freedoms which are protected by our constitution,” Kerwin told The Epoch Times. “Parents have a right to decide what’s best for their child’s medical and mental health. DeSantis knows this and our legislators supported this by passing the Parental Bill of Rights into law. I will never stop fighting for my children and my God-given authority to make decisions that are in their best interest! Nathan Newell, a father with four children in the Leon County school system, told The Epoch Times: “With all the scientific evidence available that shows the average mask is not effective, it is a shame school boards and governors are playing politics with our children’s well-being.” Brandi Andrews, a Leon County mother with two children in the Leon County School System, told The Epoch Times: “It has been very troubling to watch our local school board defy the governor and parents’ rights. The CDC recently confirming Florida now has the lowest COVID rates per capita in the United States goes to show masks don’t work being our state has a ban on masks/vaccines thanks to our great governor. I hope our school board will see the light since we finally don’t have to mask our children up for school every day and the COVID positive numbers have remained at bay.” Stephanie Henningsen of Leon County told The Epoch Times that parents “knew, as soon as local school officials imposed their illegal mask mandate upon students, they would ultimately try and claim the victory when the virus numbers inevitably bottomed out. “The thing is, numbers were already beginning to decline at the time they dictated their mandate and when one compared the data among schools that were unmasked compared to Leon County schools there was no significant difference in positive case percentages. The mandate was baseless and more about control and cashing in on the Biden reimbursement promise which ended up backfiring. “The forced masking of children is a form of child abuse and an overreach of local and state governments. Every parent should have a choice on what they deem healthy or not for their children; it’s their God-given right. Teachers and County School Boards should stay within the lanes of the authority they have, focusing on what is within their job description: educating children in regards to math, science, English, and history.” Ashley Crosby told The Epoch Times that the Leon County superintendent and members of the school board “have dedicated a ridiculous amount of time, effort, energy, and local tax paying dollars to act as tyrannical dictators over the matter of masking children, which is completely outside of their jurisdiction.” “Too many children have suffered mentally, emotionally, and educationally at the hands of these people. It’s a shame that rather than being passionate about assisting these children overcome the setbacks that occurred in the school system in the last year, they have rabidly and passionately pursued any means necessary to not let parents have a choice on whether they want their child to wear a mask or not. The health and well-being of the children should be left up to each individual family, and it has been a blessing to have our Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, understand the significant difference in the role of teacher/school boards and parents, defending parents’ rights to make their own informed decisions.” Leon County mom Denee Williams told The Epoch Times that many of the parents who have been attending school board meetings for months expected Cooper to come back with a biased ruling. However they also knew the ruling would not stand because the law, and DeSantis, is on their side. “We were pleased to see that the First Circuit Court ruled in favor of parental rights,” Williams said. “Governor DeSantis has consistently stood as a barrier between liberal politicians who would strip Florida parents of their rights to make the best medical decisions for their families. Parents know best and we do not appreciate these liberal leaders attempting to take decisions out of our hands as if they know better.” Williams further said she is not surprised to know Florida has the lowest COVID-19 rate per capita in the United States. “Our numbers are low because our great governor has made common-sense decisions and refused to be bullied and also refused to make fear-based decisions,” she explained. “He is using the data available and making common-sense decisions and not caving to the liberal narrative that we should all stop living out of fear of this virus. Florida is open and thriving. I look around the country at these blue states and I think how thankful I am to live here in this great state.” Who Gets Credit While some media try to downplay the governor’s role in the plummeting COVID-19 numbers, and others try to credit the fall in numbers to masking and vaccines, some Leon County parents attribute Florida’s COVID-19 success entirely to DeSantis. Crosby said her children attend a private, Christian school in Leon County and that the school board voted to allow parents to have a choice on whether or not they wanted to mask children. Thus far, Crosby said the overwhelming majority of children are unmasked, with “maybe one in 50” wearing a mask. “No teachers wear masks, and we have had a fantastic school year with no major outbreaks or problems,” Crosby said. “So in regards to Democrats or School Boards claiming low case numbers are due to masking, it’s simply not true. They have no science or evidence to prove that, and our school has done no masking since the beginning of August and we have had a normal year with no hiccups.” Williams said “hearing some Democrats try to claim credit that the falling COVID numbers are due to a handful of counties in Florida defying Governor DeSantis’ Executive Order and requiring masks on our students is short-sighted. First, the vast majority of counties did not force masks on their students and the numbers still fell in those counties as well. Second, many children who were forced into masks at school did not wear them outside of school at sporting events or to hang with friends. The claim that forced masking did the trick is a false narrative that I believe most people see right through. It’s laughable, honestly.” Tyler Durden Fri, 11/05/2021 - 18:20.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytNov 5th, 2021

How the baby boomer generation is the real problem, according to 21 millennials

21 millennials told Insider why baby boomers are responsible for the many problems millennials now face. These millennials tell us about the problems they now face because of baby boomers. Business Insider Deutschland Millennials are accused by some of being whiny, narcissistic, and too politically passive. A number of them suggest, however, that the real problem isn't them; it's baby boomers. 21 millennials told Insider why baby boomers are responsible for many problems millennials now face. See more stories on Insider's business page. Whiny, self-obsessed, not politically engaged enough - the accusations directed at millennials by older generations seem endless.Millennials, or anyone born between 1980 and 2000, often get painted as pampered do-gooders with a naive worldview, whose priorities extend only to getting sabbaticals and being allowed to work from home.That said, decades of disregard for the climate, unfair policies and structures being implemented between the generations, and questionable ideas concerning success in the workplace have left 18 to 38-year-olds with a heavy weight to bear.Twenty-one young people from Germany told Insider of the problems the baby boomers have created and perpetuated in Germany and how they can be solved:'Let's stop talking about what's gone wrong.' Felix Finkbeiner, 20, environmental activist. Flickr / Plant for the Planet We're hurtling towards the edge of a cliff at full pelt - it isn't for the sake of science that we're trying to figure out the quantity by which sea levels are set to rise; it's about survival.Together, with more than 67,000 other children and young people from our Plant for the Planet initiative, I've committed myself to combat the climate crisis. And yes, perhaps the older generation is listening to us but are they doing enough?The climate crisis is the greatest challenge of our time. The CO2 clock is ticking. What must we do and what can we do right now? Well, we can massively reduce our CO2 emissions. And we can plant 1,000 billion trees to absorb a quarter of man-made CO2. I'd say to the older generations, to company bosses, and to politicians: "Let's stop talking about what's gone wrong or what's going wrong - let's plant trees together and save our future."'It's older people who get to call the shots on pensions - yet they no longer have to cough up.' Sarna Röser, 30, chairwoman of Junger Unternehmer (Young Entrepreneurs). BJU Most baby boomers will be retiring soon, which will put considerable pressure on our pension system. There's a massive disparity between the number of working people and the increasing number of pensioners for whom those working people are footing the bill.I think a simple and logical solution would be if everyone had to work for a period of time during their later years. And retirement should be linked to life expectancy. I'm skeptical about who decides what's what when it comes to pensions. You only find older people sitting on the Pensions Commission, who no longer foot the bill themselves. We younger people have to hand out payments but aren't given a say.'The biggest problem the baby boomers have left us isn't that they haven't grown out of their crap.' Kevin Kühnert, 28, national chairman of the youth organisation of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, Jusos. Getty Images The biggest problem the baby boomers have dumped on us isn't that they haven't grown out of their crappy habits: it's the state they've in which they've left the future of our pension system. Pay-as-you-go financing, which has been successfully practiced for decades, will come under increasing pressure as more baby boomers leave the workforce and begin receiving benefits from the pension fund. This news comes as no surprise but politics has, so far, failed to make provisions for that day, when it comes.Fewer contributors and more beneficiaries mean great challenges will be posed for the statutory pension for a good 15 years. How these challenges will be managed isn't just a technical question. In fact, some are taking the opportunity - through scandalous inaction - to slowly chip away at the principle of solidarity when it comes to pensions and to privatize them. If all employees became contributors, we could increase contributions slightly and, if necessary, avoid shying away from tax subsidies.'We've inherited the baby boomers' workaholic attitude and taken it to the next level. Stefanie Laufs, 31, senior communications consultant at a PR agency. Stefanie Laufs The notion that Generation Y has no interest in professional success and thinks of the home office as synonymous with doing nothing is certainly not new - and unfortunately, it's firmly rooted in the minds of many among the older generation. I actually believe we've inherited their workaholic attitude - always better, always more, always higher - and that we've taken what the baby boomers did and pushed it much further.Whether among friends, colleagues, or in reports in the media - no other generation linked with topics such as burnout or partly unpaid overtime as often as ours. The demands on our generation when it comes to starting a career are enormous. You're expected to have five years of professional experience after completing your studies as well as to nearly have finished your Ph.D. Of course, you can't solely blame the baby boomers, but they've always stressed the importance of establishing a career and reinforced that it was the key to a successful and happy life. Although we've taken on this attitude, we'd actually do a lot better to leave it behind. Generation Y continues to work a lot, but having a private life is much more important than money: leisure and downtime shouldn't be overlooked.Our generation is on its way to achieving the ideal work-leisure balance and to putting the baby boomers' workaholic madness to rest.'Too much emphasis on progress and performance is a key problem we've inherited from the older generation.' Jonathan Sierck, 24, author of the book 'Junge Überflieger'. Jonathan Sierck A serious problem we've inherited from the older generation is this fixation on progress and performance. In our tireless efforts to push boundaries, whatever the cost, there's usually little room to address the often serious consequences. There's no doubt about it: constant growth and development do pay off and, as a species, we have to take certain risks every now and then in order to move forward and survive. But pushing boundaries mustn't become the objective itself nor must it come at the cost that it currently does.In order to steer us into a desirable future, we need those in decision-making positions to be sharp. They need both the courage to change yet the informed judgment to pick up on warning signs too. To ensure we don't continue to deplete our resources, we need a clear plan that takes into consideration the effects of our actions. Otherwise, we'll leave our future generations with more - possibly even more serious - problems than those we have inherited, whether they be nuclear waste, the bees dying off, or climate disasters.'Our education systems barely differ to those of the previous generation - and neither has the emphasis on grades and targets in the world of work, unfortunately.' Magdalena Rogl, 33, head of digital channels Microsoft Germany. Magdalena Rogl I'm firm on the notion that we owe much to those who came before us. Especially the generation born in 1968, who revolutionized so much and helped break down so many structures.But one area in which far too little has happened in recent decades is education. Our education systems have barely changed from those of the previous generation - and neither has the emphasis on grades and targets in the world of work, unfortunately.At the age of 10, our children are still "sorted" into schools - not based on their individual talents, but purely according to their grades. Applicants are still assessed according to their qualifications on paper far too often, and not by what they actually know. And academic degrees are still worth more than emotional education.I still remember the look of horror on the faces of my first boyfriend and his parents when I announced I was leaving high school as soon as I legally could, to follow my heart and become a childcare worker.But I think I learned more life lessons through doing so than I could have ever done at university.And that's exactly what our generation so urgently needs: lessons in life. More and more tasks are being taken over by machines and artificial intelligence. The skills Generation Y needs in professional life today are not obedience, authority, and academic knowledge, but empathy, flexibility, and problem-solving.Our generation must adapt quickly to new circumstances, because the job you did yesterday may look quite different tomorrow. And the office is no longer about sitting at a desk from nine until five; it's about working at a time and place that maximizes one's quality of work, based on the individual.That's why I'm committed to ensuring our future generations get better human and digital education, so they make our world more human and each individual person can be as he or she is - and thus achieve their own best performance.'Those who monopolize most of the power are, on average, much too old.' Daniel Krauss, 35, cofounder and chief information officer of Flixbus. Flixbus Today's prosperity is probably the greatest legacy of the previous generation. We should definitely be grateful for it. But it's not as though it's being passed down to younger generations without its drawbacks. The downside is that his focus on prosperity means few provisions have been made for the future and we haven't adapted to our current challenges.Those who monopolize most of the power are still, on average, far too old. Our generation is still trapped in a gilded cage. At some point, young Germans are going to escape that cage and find that the country is no longer at the top of the list of industrial nations.This power needs to be handed over to the younger generation at an early stage. We're ready to take on the responsibility and start restructuring things.'The older generation knows little about what constitutes a healthy and balanced diet.' Jörg Mayer and Nadine Horn, both in their early thirties, are vegan bloggers on 'Eat this'. Eat This The abundance in food and convenience have featured heavily in the kitchens of the post-war generation. Where meat had previously featured rarely on the dining table, it was almost a compulsory, everyday part of meals in the 1950s. But it had to be simple, fast, and cheap.It's becoming increasingly clear that this kind of practice can't go on indefinitely for future generations.Due to this abundance and a lack of true appreciation for food, some among the older generation have little idea about what constitutes a healthy, balanced diet. What's more, over the years a lot of marketing-driven pseudo-sciences - which, simply put, is often wrong and sometimes even dangerous - have persisted.Questions like: "Where do vegans get protein from if they don't eat meat?" or the myth that milk consumption is good for the bones (when the opposite is true) are still firmly anchored in their minds and will only be shifted with a lot of effort.We try to set a good example and show that vegan life is anything but boring, that we don't just live off salad or tofu - that the kitchen can be a place to have fun. We're trying to show that cooking with friends, either alone or in pairs, is not another tedious chore; it's the best thing you can do.'Politicians must take us and our ideas seriously.' Ria Schröder, 26, chairman of Jungen Liberalen (the Young Liberals). Business Insider Deutschland The baby boomers, our parents and theirs, have been instrumental in ensuring we grew up with high living standards. I'm grateful for that but we've also inherited a few problems, one of them being the pension situation. Like many in my generation, I don't assume I'll be provided for in old age. The level of baby boomers being paid for by us is ever increasing while there are fewer of us to foot the bill. It's great that people are living longer but the subsidy for the pension system is already the largest item in the German budget.At the same time, less and less is being invested in the future: for example, in education, and in infrastructure. My generation is outnumbered. But those who focus only on large voter groups are putting the future of our country at risk in favor of short-term electoral success. Politicians must take us and our ideas seriously. Ultimately it will help not only one generation but the whole country.'We know humanity has power over the Earth's biophysical systems, thanks to our predecessors.' Sina Leipold, 32, junior professor of social transformation and circular economy at the University of Freiburg. Sina Leipold For some time, we've known humanity affects and has control over the Earth's biophysical systems more than any other force of nature - knowledge we've attained only thanks to our predecessors. It is both a blessing and a curse for our generation.Never before have so many people been able to inhabit our planet and never before have commodities like regular holiday flights been so easy and readily affordable.At the same time, hurricanes, floods, and heatwaves have threatened to destroy (and, in many cases, have destroyed) the lives and homes of millions.My personal goal, through a more responsible approach than previous generations, is to help our generation ensure this power sticks around long term, instead of putting it at risk by inviting irreversible climate disasters.'Older generations aren't prepared to take risks.' Christopher Obereder, 26, startup founder. David Visnjic Setting up a business in Germany is far too complex; it should be more straightforward. Other countries are well ahead and we should be moving on as soon as possible. The tax system in Germany is also massively outdated and makes it extremely difficult for those looking to get started with a business.Start-ups could be much better supported with tax reforms so the start-ups could focus more on taking care of their business. Singapore has attracted startups from all over the world with its simple control system and has become the hub of the crypto scene. Our political structures are also too slow to change and aren't able to keep up with innovation. Things have to change on this front.A survey by U.S. News showed Germany was in first place in the "Entrepreneurship" category, ahead of Japan and the USA. It's clear Germany is at the forefront despite the clear room for improvement.Work has also changed: people used to stay in the same job their whole life, which is why it used to be feasible to work without constantly developing and learning. Today we seem to switch jobs every year or two. I think it has a lot to do with the Internet.We always need to be ready to learn new things and take risks. And many opportunities and possibilities arise with the Internet if you're open to it - cryptocurrencies are something I'm currently heavily involved in and open to, and I realize older generations aren't.There's a conflict simply because older generations always advocate stability and safety over risk-taking, which they aren't prepared to do. I can only speak for myself but if I'd never taken risks, I'd never have learned. We have to learn through trial and error that you can't make money from anything and everything. Failure has become a valid part of working life, even if older generations still don't want to admit it.But older generations are starting to accept the start-up scene for what it is: it's fast-moving, involves risk-taking, and isn't always lucrative.'The older generation has left European peace in a fragile state.' Lisa Badum, 34, Green Party parliament representative. Lisa Badum The rapid rise in greenhouse gases, the dramatically worsening climate crisis, the question of nuclear waste disposal, the irreversible death of countless plant and animal species - these are just some of the many consequences of failed climate and environmental policies from previous generations. Because they haven't relied on sustainability, they've dumped the consequences of and responsibility for their actions onto future generations. We're now having to face a mammoth challenge together: to keep global warming below two degrees to give future generations the chance to make mistakes.As for Europe, our younger generation has inherited the task of establishing European peace, a project which the older generation has left in a sorry state. The continually rising rate of youth unemployment within the EU, austerity policies, Brexit - all of these things have greatly weakened the notion of the "European community" and reinforced right-wing nationalist and populist forces in Europe. I myself have close ties with Greece, and over the years I've witnessed the destructive effects of austerity there, and have also seen growing disillusionment towards the EU. We have to stop this in its tracks and do it now because lasting peace between us all is the most basic of prerequisites for taking on the many challenges ahead and finding solutions for tomorrow.Where justice and gender equality are concerned, the older generation has set us on a path of clear progress, particularly as regards legal equality between the sexes. While we have to defend this success, we also have to continue fighting for 100% equality between men and women, whether in family and work, pay or pension, and the end of sexual violence towards women and girls.'Digitisation is largely a generational issue.' Barbara Engels, 30, economist at the Institute of German Economics Cologne (IW). IW Cologne Being digital means being online, networking, being open to new business models - and being young. It seems to be a largely generational issue: older people are less likely to be online than younger people, which is a pity because digitization opens up many new possibilities, especially for people who are aging. It can simplify and enrich everyday life. I hope people of all ages will greet digitization with open arms and optimism, but obviously not without a healthy dose of skepticism. Networking is at the heart of the digital world and could contribute to a better level of understanding between young and old. And it would help us learn much more from older people and vice versa.'Pension plans are a big disappointment.' Kristine Lütke, 35, president of WirtschaftsjuniorDeutschland (the Junior Chamber Germany). Wirtschaftsjunioren Deutschland The subsequent drop in birth rate as a result of the rise of the contraceptive pill among the baby boomers is exacerbating demographic change. This has resulted in a shortage of specialists and labor in all areas of the economy. We young entrepreneurs and managers in particular are suffering from this as employers. Moreover, our country's pension plans are a huge disappointment for our generation and an attack on intergenerational justice, particularly in view of demographic changes. The question of billions of funding for the "maternal pension" that's been proposed in Germany remains open.What can be done to increase employment rates and to mitigate the consequences of demographic change, as well as the pensions package? We need to look at options for flexible retirement. The statutory retirement age should be done away with. And working time law needs to be fundamentally reformed.'Climate change presents us with challenges that will dictate the opportunities of future generations.' Lukas Köhler, 31, Free Democratic Party Member of Parliament. Lukas Köhler We've inherited a lot of problems to do with CO2 in the atmosphere. Climate change today presents us with a task - and how we manage this task will directly determine the opportunities available for future generations. That's why I'm fully committed to limiting climate change as much as possible. We will only succeed with a market-based climate policy in which politicians set clear targets for reducing emissions. Other bans and regulations are unnecessary and provide false incentives. If we succeed in building a global emissions trading scheme with ambitious goals, which is as broad as possible for all economic sectors, I'm convinced we can limit global warming to an acceptable level.'We've been left with a society that revolves around profit rather than sustainability.' Sonja Oberbeckmann, 36, environmental microbiologist at the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research. Sonja Oberbeckmann We have much to thank the previous generations for: no generation has grown up as carefree and with as many possibilities as ours. However, it's come at a price: we've been left with a society that revolves around profit rather than sustainability, where material prosperity counts more than individual happiness.My professional field, science, is set up for the short term: there are many temporary contracts, focusing on trendy topics. But this profit-focused society has left its mark everywhere. The environment is riddled with pesticides, exhaust gases, plastics, and much more. People are stressed and it seems they would sooner pop pills than demand the time to live more healthily. Hardly anyone stops to breathe.We, all generations together, can define new goals and break out of this established cycle, that's exploiting human and environmental resources. Instead of sitting passively in front of the television and getting worked up about company bosses, we should all be taking responsibility and consuming both more sustainably and consciously. And we should be asking ourselves from time to time what actually makes us truly happy.'We're still teaching as though we're in the 19th century.' Nina Toller, Private Teacher. Business Insider Deutschland Living in the 21st century, teaching 19th-century style: this is what seems to be at the core of our schooling.I've tried myself to fend this off with learning methods that combine critical thinking and communication with creativity and teamwork, as well as the use of digital media. My students shouldn't just be learning content and facts; they should be learning how to obtain new facts, how to share work effectively and efficiently, and how best to absorb and apply what they've learned. In this way, they develop openness, a willingness to learn, and also a certain degree of independence. The teacher becomes more of a companion for learning and a moderator.My school is open to digital media and supports me in my creative work. I almost always use QR codes or get foreign-language authors, into the classroom via Skype.Yet, due to a lack of technical support, training, time, and security, few teachers can organize something like this on their own initiative. On my page "Toller Unterricht" I publish lots of my ideas as well as tried and tested lesson plans, with materials included.Politicians have made promises to digitize schools. In addition to the lack of qualifications teachers have, there also seems to be a lack of equipment. I'm glad my school has some projectors and smartboards I can use for my lessons, but some don't even have Internet access.Data protection is currently being taken to ridiculous extremes: new data protection regulation makes the use of private computers difficult, so some are being advised to use paper and pen. This won't work within the frame of a digitization strategy for Germany in 2018.Therefore, comprehensive reform is needed. Only then can we equip all our students with the skills to prepare them for life and learning in the 21st century.'It's as if the parents think schools are responsible for raising children.' Franziska Hafer, 23, teacher. Franziska Hafer The older generation has paid far too little attention to sustainable development. Sustainable development means empowering children to form their own opinions and encouraging them to act sustainably. Sustainable development means the current generation is developing, not compromising the next generation, but actively considering it. Children haven't been sensitized to this at all.I think there's a very different tone in schools now. I get the sense that kids are becoming less and less respectful. Manners are disappearing and, unfortunately, you rarely see a boy holding the door open for a girl. It's as if parents think schools are responsible for bringing children up.Some children are only interested in who has the latest, highest-end mobile. The children who do not have a say in this are outside the picture - and I think that the generation above us is responsible for instilling different values.'We've inherited a toxic political style from the generation before us.' Max Lucks, 21, spokesman for Grünen Jugend (Green Youth). Max Lucks We've not inherited generational conflicts; we've inherited a toxic political style from the generation before us, which has dealt little with political change or shaping the future and has been more focused on how everything can remain as is. One only has to look at how Merkel's government dealt with a climate crisis and how it's always been ignored and fought against by one commission or another. This political style has disappointed our generation and rightly so: it's clear to young people that a little isn't enough to answer the hard questions. For example, how can we still find well-paid and permanent jobs in 20 years' time in spite of digitalization?'The older ranks of conservative politicians are afraid of change.' Akilnathan Logeswaren, 29, European Activist. Business Insider Deutschland As an activist for a united Europe, I'm always reminded of how much of the older ranks of conservative politicians fear change. While young people are almost unanimous in their commitment to a united Europe, the older generation is still resistant to it, although though the United States of Europe has been on the agenda of previous German political figures such as Franz Josef Strauss himself.While old politicians are practicing against the left by remaining on the right, today's young people are already focusing more on the spirit of the European Parliament, namely by looking for solutions.In the 21st century, it is no longer about just having ideas, but about collaborating for a shared future. For example, the campaign #FreeInterrail - a free Interrail ticket for all Europeans as soon as they turn 18 - was devised by the youth for the youth. Ideas like these will secure our peace and cohesion in the long term.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 4th, 2021

Now Or Never: The Great "Transition" Must Be Imposed

Now Or Never: The Great 'Transition' Must Be Imposed Authored by Alastair Crooke via The Strategic Culture Foundation, A new wave of restrictions, more lockdowns, and – eventually – trillions of dollars in new stimmie cheques may be in prospect... Were you following the news this last week? Vaccine mandates are everywhere: one country, after another, is doubling-down, to try to force, or legally compel, full population vaccination. The mandates are coming because of the massive uptick in Covid – most of all in the places where the experimental mRNA gene therapies were deployed en masse. And (no coincidence), this ‘marker’ has come just as U.S. Covid deaths in 2021 have surpassed those of 2020. This has happened, despite the fact that last year, no Americans were vaccinated (and this year 59% are vaccinated). Clearly no panacea, this mRNA ‘surge’. Of course, the Pharma-Establishment know that the vaccines are no panacea. There are ‘higher interests’ at play here. It is driven rather by fear that the window for implementing its series of ‘transitions’ in the U.S. and Europe is closing. Biden still struggles to move his ‘Go-Big’ social spending plan and green agenda transition through Congress by the midterm election in a year’s time. And the inflation spike may well sink Biden’s Build Back Better agenda (BBB) altogether. Time is short. The midterm elections are but 12 months away, after which the legislative window shuts. The Green ‘transition’ is stuck too (by concerns that moving too fast to renewables is putting power grids at risk and elevating heating costs unduly), and the Pharma establishment will be aware that a new B.1.1.529 variant has made a big jump in evolution with 32 mutations to its spike protein. This makes it “clearly very different” from previous variants, which may drive further waves of infection evading ‘vaccine defences’. Translation: a new wave of restrictions, more lockdowns, and – eventually – trillions of dollars in new stimmie cheques may be in prospect. And what of inflation then, we might ask. It’s a race for the U.S. and Europe, where the pandemic is back in full force across Europe, to push through their re-set agendas, before variants seize up matters with hospitals crowded with the vaccinated and non-vaccinated; with riots in the streets, and mask mandates at Christmas markets (that’s if they open at all). A big reversal was foreshadowed by this week’s news: vaccine mandates and lockdowns, even in highly vaccinated areas, are returning. And people don’t like it. The window for the Re-Set may be fast closing. One observer, noting all the frenetic Élite activity, has asked ‘have we finally reached peak Davos?’. Is the turn to authoritarianism in Europe a sign of desperation as fears grow that the various ‘transitions’ planned under the ‘re-set’ umbrella (financial, climate, vaccine and managerial expert technocracy) may never be implemented? Cut short rather, as spending plans are hobbled by accelerating inflation; as the climate transition fails to find traction amongst poorer states (and at home, too); as technocracy is increasingly discredited by adverse pandemic outcomes; and Modern Monetary Theory hits a wall, because – well, inflation again. Are you paying attention yet? The great ‘transition’ is conceived as a hugely expensive shift towards renewables, and to a new digitalised, roboticised corporatism. It requires Big (inflationary) funding to be voted through, and a huge parallel (inflationary) expenditure on social support to be approved by Congress as well. The social provision is required to mollify all those who subsequently will find themselves without jobs, because of the climate ‘transition’ and the shift to a digitalised corporate sphere. But – unexpectedly for some ‘experts’ – inflation has struck – the highest statistics in 30 years. There are powerful oligarchic interests behind the Re-Set. They do not want to see it go down, nor see the West eclipsed by its ‘competitors’. So it seems that rather than back off, they will go full throttle and try to impose compliance on their electorates: tolerate no dissidence. A 1978 essay “The Power of the Powerless” by then dissident and future Czech President Vaclav Havel begins mockingly that, “A SPECTRE is haunting Eastern Europe: the spectre of what in the West is called ‘dissent’”. “This spectre has not appeared out of thin air. It is a natural and inevitable consequence of the present historical phase of the system it is haunting.” Well, today, as Michael Every of Rabobank notes, “the West has polarisation, mass protests, riots, talk of obligatory vaccinations in Europe, and Yanis Varoufakis arguing capitalism is already dead; and that a techno-feudalism looms”. Now, prompting even greater urgency, are the looming U.S. midterms. Trump’s return (even if confined just to Congress), would cut the legs from under BBB, and ice-up Brussels too. It was however, precisely this tech revolution, to which Varoufakis calls attention, that both re-defined the Democrat constituency, and turned tech oligarchs into billionaires. Through algorithmically creating a magnetism of like-minded content, cascaded out to its customers, it has both smothered intellectual curiosity, and created the ‘un-informed party’, which is the today’s Managerial Class – the party of the credentialed meritocracy; the party, above all, smugly seeing themselves as the coming era’s ‘winners’ – unwilling to risk a look behind the curtain; to put their ‘safe space’ to the test. Perversely, this cadre of professionally-corralled academics, analysts, and central bankers, all insist that they completely believe in their memes: That their techno-approach is both effective, and of benefit to humanity – oblivious to the dissenting views, swirling around them, down in the interstices of the internet. The main function then of such memes today, whether issued by the Pharma Vaccine ‘Command’; the MMT ‘transition’ Command; the energy ‘transition’ Command; or the global managerial technocracy ‘transition’, is to draw a ‘Maginot line’ – a defensive ideological boundary, a “Great Narrative” as it were – between ‘the truth’ as defined by the ruling classes, and with that of any other ‘truth’ that contradicts their narrative. That is to say, it is about compliance. It was well understood that all these transitions would overturn long-standing human ways of life, that are ancient and deeply rooted and trigger dissidence – which is why new forms of social ‘discipline’ would be required. (Incidentally, the EU leadership already refer to their their official mandates as ‘Commands’). Such disciplines are now being trialled in Europe – with the vaccine mandates (even though scientists are telling them that vaccines cannot be the silver bullet for which they yearn). As one high ‘lodge’ member, favouring a form of global governance notes, to make people accept such reforms, you must frighten them. Yes, the collective of ‘transitions’ must have their ‘Big, overarching Narrative’ – however hollow, it rings (i.e. the struggle to defend democracy against authoritarianism). But it is the nature of today’s cultural-meme war that ultimately its content becomes little more than a rhetorical shell, lacking all sincerity at its core. It serves principally, as decoration to a ‘higher order’ project: The preservation of global ‘rules of the road’, framed to reflect U.S. and allied interests, as the base from which the clutch of ‘transitions’ can be raised up into a globally managed order which preserves the Élite’s influence and command of major assets. This politics of crafted, credentialised meme-politics is here to stay, and now is ‘everywhere’. It has long crossed the partisan divide. The wider point here – is that the mechanics of meme-mobilisation is being projected, not just in the western ‘home’ (at a micro-level), but abroad, into American ‘foreign policy’ too (i.e. at the macro-level). And, just as in the domestic arena, where the notion of politics by suasion is lost (with vaccine mandates enforced by water-cannon, and riot police), so too, the notion of foreign policy managed through argument, or diplomacy, has been lost too. Western foreign policy becomes less about geo-strategy, but rather is primordially focussed on the three ‘big iconic issues’ – China, Russia and Iran – that can be given an emotional ‘charge’ in order to profitably mobilise certain identified ‘constituencies’ in the U.S. domestic cultural war. All the various U.S. political strands play this game. The aim is to ‘nudge’ domestic American psyches (and those of their allies) into mobilisation on some issue (such as more protectionism for business against Chinese competition), or alternatively, imagined darkly, in order to de-legitimise an opposition, or to justify failures. These mobilisations are geared to gaining relative domestic partisan advantage, rather than having strategic purpose. When this credentialled meme-war took hold in the U.S., millions of people were already living a reality in which facts no longer mattered at all; where things that never happened officially, happened. And other things that obviously happened never happened: not officially, that is. Or, were “far-right extremist conspiracy theories,” “fake news,” or “disinformation,” or whatever, despite the fact that people knew that they weren’t. Russia and China therefore face a reality in which European and U.S. élites are heading in the opposite direction to epistemological purity and well-founded argument. That is to suggest, the new ‘normal’ is about generating a lot of contradictory realities, not just contradictory ideologies, but actual mutually-exclusive ‘realities’, which could not possibly simultaneously exist … and which are intended to bemuse adversaries – and nudge them off-balance. This is a highly risky game, for it forces a resistance stance on those targeted states – whether they seek it, or not. It underlines that politics is no more about considered strategy: It is about being willing for the U.S. to lose strategically (even militarily), in order to win politically. Which is to say gaining an ephemeral win of having prompted an favourable unconscious psychic response amongst American voters. Russia, China, Iran are but ‘images’ prized mainly for their potential for being loaded with ‘nudge’ emotional-charge in this western cultural war, (of which these states are no part). The result is that these states become antagonists to the American presumption to define a global ‘rules of the road’ to which all must adhere. These countries understand exactly the point of these value and rights-loaded ‘rules’. It is to force compliance on these states to acquiesce to the ‘transitions, or, to suffer isolation, boycott and sanction – in a similar way to the choices being forced on those in the West not wishing to vaccinate (i.e. no jab; no job). This approach reflects an attempt by Team Biden to have it ‘both ways’ with these three ‘Iconic States’: To welcome compliance on ‘transition issues’, but to be adversarial over any dissidence to mounting a rules framework that can raise the ‘transitions’ from the national, to the supra-national plane. But do the U.S. practitioners of meme-politics, absorb and comprehend that the stance by Russia-China – in riposte – is not some same-ilk counter-mobilisation done to ‘make a point’? That their vision does stand at variance with ‘the rules’? Do they see that their ‘red lines’ may indeed be ‘red lines’ literally? Is the West now so meme-addicted, it cannot any longer recognise real national interests? This is key: When the West speaks, it is forever looking over its shoulder, at the domestic, and wider psychic impact when it is ‘making a point’ (such as practicing attacks by nuclear-capable bombers as close to Russia’s borders as they dare). And that when Russia and China say, ‘This is our Red Line’, it is no meme – they really mean it. Tyler Durden Sat, 12/04/2021 - 23:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedge5 hr. 56 min. ago

Bizarre Handwritten Notes Detail Daily Affirmations By Theranos Co-Founder Holmes And Boyfriend Balwani

Bizarre Handwritten Notes Detail Daily Affirmations By Theranos Co-Founder Holmes And Boyfriend Balwani As the Elizabeth Holmes fraud trial continues, the exhibits being introduced by lawyers are becoming more and more bizarre. Most recently was the submission to the court of handwritten notes Holmes and her boyfriend/co-worker, Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, wrote to themselves about how to run their business and how they planned their day.  The notes were written between 2005 and 2009, according to Holmes, the Wall Street Journal reported this week.  Holmes said of the notes that they were to help her focus. “Even if I didn’t have a natural instinct for business, that I could be taught to overcome that through a formula for success,” the WSJ reported her as saying. Holmes' notes show a daily morning schedule that includes "thanking God than most things are not logical", "praying" and notes on what Holmes would order for lunch.  "I do not react. I am not impulsive. I know the outcome of every encounter," Holmes wrote to herself. "My hands are always in my pockets or gesturing. I am fully present." Notes from Balwani entitled "Non-Negotiables" lay out his morning routine, as well. "Every morning, I will force myself out of bed and spend 30 minutes (never a minute less) to write what I want from my day," he writes. "I will never meet with anyone for more than 5 minutes unless I have written down why I am meeting with them." Balwani continues: "I will always give crisp, clean goals and feedback to my subordinates, even if they don't like it - especially if they don't like it. I will first write this down (goal & action) and help them focus on their actions and results, not politics." You can read all three pages of Balwani's notes here. We have been keeping up with key elements of testimony during the trial. For example, during testimony last week, Holmes reportedly pushed back on accusations about lying about Theranos' work with drug companies and blamed scientists and doctors who worked for her, saying she "believed what they had told her about Theranos’s technology," according to the NY Times.  “We thought this was a really big idea,” she reportedly said on the stand. Holmes presented as a " an impressive and ambitious chief executive when describing the early days of Theranos," the NYT wrote. She discussed patents in her name and help she got from Stanford University professor Channing Roberton. The report described her as "relaxed and confident" in giving testimony.  She also fielded answered questions about preliminary studies conducted by Theranos with drug companies in 2008 to 2010. The testimony was to show that the startup did, in fact, work with drug companies when it was claimed that they didn't.  “Merck sent data back to Theranos showing how well we performed compared to their traditional assays,” she said on the stand. She also detailed attempts to work with the Army's Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center.  “One was seeing if there were markers in the blood to see if we could predict PTSD. One was diabetes management,” Holmes testified. Holmes' lawyers, meanwhile, have focused on investors not doing enough due diligence, a portfolio of patents the company was able to create and unearth "kernels of truth" that were buried amongst the company's lies. They have tried to paint a picture of a young company in the early 2000s, NBC reported.  Putting Holmes on the stand was a "must" given the evidence compiled against her, the NY Times wrote. Tyler Durden Fri, 12/03/2021 - 09:05.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 3rd, 2021

The son of Libyan despot Muammar Gaddafi has been OK-ed to run for president, even though he was convicted and sentenced to death for war crimes

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi successfully appealed the Libyan court after he was disqualified on grounds of having been convicted in absentia for war crimes and received the death sentence in 2015. Saif al-Islam Gaddafi is questioned by judges in a trial broadcast live in 2014.MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP via Getty Images The son and heir-apparent of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi has been approved to run for president. Saif al-Islam Gaddafi was previously disqualified over having been convicted of war crimes, but appealed the decision. He is still wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity. A court in Libya has ruled that the son and once heir-apparent of the late despot Muammar Gaddafi can run for president, Reuters reported, adding to the turmoil surrounding an election that Western nations hope will stabilize the fractured country.Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the second son of Gaddafi Sr., reemerged last month after a decade of silence to announce his candidacy for Libya's first-ever election.But he was disqualified on November 24 on grounds of him having being convicted in absentia and receiving the death sentence in 2015 by a court in Tripoli over war crimes he was accused of committing during his fight against revolutionary groups in 2011. At the time of the conviction, he was being held by rebel group who eventually released him in 2017.He has denied all wrongdoing.On Thursday, he successfully appealed the disqualification, his lawyer said, per Reuters.Gaddafi, who acted as Libya's de facto prime minister during his father's reign, is also wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity. His father ruled Libya for 42 years until 2011, when Gaddafi Sr. was overthrown in a bloody civil war that culminated in the brutal beating of the dictator and his subsequent death at the hands of rebel fighters.Following his release in 2017, Gaddafi removed himself from the public eye, saying in a New York Times magazine interview in June that he was making a gradual reentry into politics, comparing his comeback to a "striptease."Libya has for years been ripped apart by fighting between warring factions, an internationally-backed interim government, and ISIS, following a failed NATO attempt to transition the country to democracy.Experts say Gaddafi can snap up support from Libyans who yearn for the stability of his father's regime before the 2011 civil war, according to The Financial Times.Some tribes and regions that Gaddafi's father once favored are likely to throw in their support for him as well, FT reported.But many Libyans, especially those who fought in the revolution against Gaddafi's family, are outraged that he's even allowed to run in the election, which is on December 24, Reuters reported.Emad al-Sayah, chairman of the High National Election Commission, told The Washington Post the upcoming election would be key to determining whether Libyans will finally see peace. The country will "either continue on the track of democracy and peaceful devolution of power or go to square zero, where war will take place," he said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytDec 3rd, 2021

"Here Comes A Revolution!" - Saxo Bank Unveils Its "Outrageous Predictions" For The Year Ahead

"Here Comes A Revolution!" - Saxo Bank Unveils Its 'Outrageous Predictions' For The Year Ahead Saxo Bank has today released its 10 Outrageous Predictions for 2022. The predictions focus on a series of unlikely but underappreciated events which, if they were to occur, could send shockwaves across financial markets: The plan to end fossil fuels gets a rain check Facebook faceplants on youth exodus The US mid-term election brings constitutional crisis US inflation reaches above 15% on wage-price spiral EU Superfund for climate, energy and defence announced, to be funded by private pensions Women’s Reddit Army takes on the corporate patriarchy India joins the Gulf Cooperation Council as a non-voting member Spotify disrupted due to NFT-based digital rights platform New hypersonic tech drives space race and new cold war Medical breakthrough extends average life expectancy 25 years As culture wars rage across the world, it’s no longer a question of if we get a socioeconomic revolution, but a question of when and how. But which revolutionary prediction do you think is most likely? Saxo CIO Steen Jakobsen summarizes the theme for 2022 Outrageous Predictions is Revolution. There is so much energy building up in our inequalityplagued society and economy. Add to that the inability of the current system to address the issue and we need to look into the future with the fundamental outlook that it’s not a question of whether we get a revolution, but more a question of when and how. With every revolution, some win and some lose, but that’s not the point—if the current system can’t change but must, a revolution is the only path forward. A culture war is raging across the globe and the divide is no longer simply between the rich and the poor. It’s also the young versus the old, the educated class versus the less educated working class, real markets with price discovery versus government intervention, stock market buy-backs versus R&D spending, inflation versus deflation, women versus men, the progressive left versus the centrist left, virtual signalling on social media versus real changes to society, the rentier class versus labour, fossil fuels versus green energy, ESG initiatives versus the need to supply the world with reliable energy—the list goes on. What’s interesting for me, having done this Outrageous Predictions list for twenty years, is that all of the above issues point to a cycle ending rather than a continuation of more of the same. Post-pandemic (well, mostly) the market is hoping that things will continue as before, but as an old mentor of mine used to say, when I answered one of his questions with “I hope”: “Listen, son, save hope for church on Sundays, and come back when you have something more concrete.” The year 2022 is likely to see far less of what markets are hoping for and far more in the way of volatility as revolutionary movements kick into gear that challenge the status quo as we grope our way towards a new paradigm. Some of these movements will get things right, some of them will make mistakes, but we need to get started. Pretty much everything needs to change if we are to achieve zero emissions, less inequality, stable energy and importantly, more productivity. 2021 was a year in which we thought we could firmly put Covid behind us, but as 2022 rolls into view, we’re simply not there yet. It was a year with unprecedented fiscal transfers, especially to lower-income households, which created excess demand in a geopolitically and supply chain–fragmented world. The physical world simply became too small to absorb the good, if misguided, intentions of politicians and central banks to keep the economy on an even keel. Now we find ourselves with an energy crisis on our hands—and that’s not an outrageous call. But how we deal with it could create both policy mistakes and fundamental changes. A cold winter, for example, could spark a counter-revolution against the current alternative energy narrative, requiring that we reconfigure our expectations around how quickly we can abandon fossil fuels (Outrageous Prediction number 1 for 2022!) and even reclassifying nuclear energy as green. Doing anything else is simply not viable if we want to avoid a collapse in the real economy. We do realise that the Revolution theme for OP 2022 can create negative associations. To many of us, the word Revolution calls forth the 1789 French Revolution with its call for “Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity”, but also the Russian Revolution and its “smash the capitalists” principles. But our intent is the broader definition of revolution: not the physical overthrowing of governments, but eurekalike moments that trigger a change of thinking, a change of behaviour and a rejection of the unsustainable status quo. Hopefully, each of the Outrageous Predictions echoes that general point, with a couple of the revolutions triggered by the “involuntary” implications of technical progress: hypersonic missiles and longevity therapy. We need more liberty from governments in some areas, like a less heavy-handed monetary policy and the moral hazard of unproductively backstopping markets it brings. And we need more regulation in others, like avoiding the dangers of a hyper-financialised economy, too-powerful monopolies and inequality. Most urgently, we need to provide a brighter outlook for the world’s young people and better cooperation among nations instead of the present trend away from globalisation and multilateral institutions. We collaborated globally on Covid vaccines in 2020 and 2021. Now we need a new Manhattan Project–- type endeavour to set the marginal cost of energy, adjusted for productivity, on the path to much lower levels while eliminating the impact of our energy generation on the environment. Such a move would unleash the most significant productivity cycle in history: we could desalinate water, make vertical farms feasible almost anywhere, enable the leap to quantum computing, and continue to explore new boundaries in biology and physics. Remember that the world is forever evolving if at varying speeds, while business and political cycles are always finite. We are betting that in 2022 the speed of evolution kicks up a few notches into a revolutionary state as a new cycle gets under way. ‘Change is good’ needs to be the new mantra, or at minimum: “trial and error”. Let’s at least try and err some more rather than trying to forever kick the can down the road! Finally, we must emphasise our annual caveat, that these Outrageous Predictions should not be seen as our official view on the market and politics. This year, more than ever, we’re trying to provoke you and ourselves to think outside the box and to engage in discussing the important topics we raise. Let the fun, and the future, begin. *  *  * The plan to end fossil fuels gets a rain check Summary: Policymakers kick climate targets down the road and support fossil fuel investment to fight inflation and the risk of social unrest while rethinking the path to a low-carbon future. Facebook faceplants on youth exodus Summary: The young abandon Facebook’s platforms in protest against their mining of personal information for profit; the attempt by Facebook parent Meta to reel them back in with the Metaverse stumbles. The US mid-term election brings constitutional crisis Summary: The US mid-term election sees a stand-off over the certification of close Senate and/or House election results, leading to a scenario where the 118th Congress is unable to sit on schedule in early 2023. US inflation reaches above 15% on wage-price spiral Summary: By the fourth quarter of 2022, US CPI inflation reaches an annualized 15% as companies bid up wages in an effort to find willing and qualified workers, triggering a wage-price spiral unlike anything seen since the 1970’s. EU Superfund for climate, energy and defence announced, to be funded by private pensions Summary: To defend against the rise of populism, deepen the commitment to slowing climate change, and defend its borders as the US security umbrella recedes, the EU launches a bold $3 trillion Superfund to be funded by pension allocations rather than new taxes. Women’s Reddit Army takes on the corporate patriarchy Summary: Mimicking the meme stock Reddit Army tactics of 2020-21, a group of women traders launch a coordinated assault on companies with weak records on gender equality, leading to huge swings in equity prices for targeted companies. India joins the Gulf Cooperation Council as a non-voting member Summary: The world’s geopolitical alliances will lurch into a phase of drastic realignment as we have an ugly cocktail of new deglobalising geopolitics and much higher energy prices. Spotify disrupted due to NFT-based digital rights platform Summary: Musicians are ready for change as the current music streaming paradigm means that labels and streaming platforms capture 75-95 percent of revenue paid for listening to streamed music. In 2022, new blockchain-based technology will help them grab back their fair share of industry revenues. New hypersonic tech drives space race and new cold war Summary: The latest hypersonic missile tests are driving a widening sense of insecurity as this tech renders legacy conventional and even nuclear military hardware obsolete. In 2022 a massive hypersonic arms race develops among major militaries as no country wants to feel left behind. Medical breakthrough extends average life expectancy 25 years Summary: Young forever, or for at least a lot longer. In 2022, a key breakthrough in biomedicine brings the prospect of extending productive adulthood and the average life expectancy by up to 25 years, prompting projected ethical, environmental and fiscal crises of epic proportions. *  *  * Read the full report below: Tyler Durden Thu, 12/02/2021 - 08:45.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytDec 2nd, 2021

Dying COVID-19 Patient Recovers After Court Orders Hospital To Administer Ivermectin

Dying COVID-19 Patient Recovers After Court Orders Hospital To Administer Ivermectin Authored by Matthew Vadum via The Epoch Times, An elderly COVID-19 patient has recovered after a court order allowed him to be treated with ivermectin, despite objections from the hospital in which he was staying, according to the family’s attorney After an Illinois hospital insisted on administering expensive remdesivir to the patient and the treatment failed, his life was saved after a court ordered that an outside medical doctor be allowed to use the inexpensive ivermectin to treat him, over the hospital’s strenuous objections. Ivermectin tablets have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat humans with intestinal strongyloidiasis and onchocerciasis, two conditions caused by parasitic worms. Some topical forms of ivermectin have been approved to treat external parasites such as head lice and for skin conditions such as rosacea. The drug is also approved for use on animals. Remdesivir has been given emergency use authorization by the FDA for treating certain categories of human patients that have been hospitalized with COVID-19. But the use of ivermectin to treat humans suffering from COVID-19 has become controversial because the FDA hasn’t approved its so-called off-label use to treat the disease, which is caused by the CCP virus also known as SARS-CoV-2. Critics have long accused the FDA of dragging its heels and being dangerously over-cautious and indifferent to human suffering in its approach to regulating pharmaceuticals, a criticism that led to then-President Donald Trump signing the Right to Try Act in May 2018. The law, according to the FDA, “is another way for patients who have been diagnosed with life-threatening diseases or conditions who have tried all approved treatment options and who are unable to participate in a clinical trial to access certain unapproved treatments.” Medical doctors are free to prescribe ivermectin to treat COVID-19, even though the FDA claims that its off-label use could be harmful in some circumstances. Clinical human trials of the drug for use against COVID-19 are currently in progress, according to the agency. The drug “most definitely” saved the elderly patient’s life “because his condition changed right immediately after he took ivermectin,” attorney for the family, Kirstin M. Erickson of Chicago-based Mauck and Baker, told The Epoch Times. Sun Ng, 71, who was visiting the United States from Hong Kong to celebrate his granddaughter’s first birthday, became ill with COVID-19 and within days was close to death. He was hospitalized on Oct. 14 at Edward Hospital, in Naperville, Illinois, a part of the Edward-Elmhurst Health system. His condition worsened dramatically and he was intubated and placed on a ventilator a few days later. Ng’s only child, Man Kwan Ng, who holds a doctoral degree in mechanical engineering, did her own research and decided that her father should take ivermectin, which some medical doctors believe is effective against COVID-19, despite the FDA’s guidance to the contrary. But against the daughter’s wishes, the hospital refused to administer ivermectin and denied access to a physician willing to administer it. The daughter went to court on her father’s behalf and on Nov. 1, Judge Paul M. Fullerton of the Circuit Court of DuPage County granted a temporary restraining order requiring the hospital to allow ivermectin to be given to the patient. The hospital refused to comply with the court order. At a subsequent court hearing on Nov. 5, Fullerton said one physician who testified described Sun Ng as “basically on his death bed,” with a mere 10 to 15 percent chance of survival. Ivermectin can have minor side effects such as dizziness, itchy skin, and diarrhea at the dosage suggested for Ng, but the “risks of these side effects are so minimal that Mr. Ng’s current situation outweighs that risk by one-hundredfold,” Fullerton said. The judge issued a preliminary injunction that day directing the hospital to “immediately allow … temporary emergency privileges” to Ng’s physician, Dr. Alan Bain, “solely to administer Ivermectin to this patient.” The hospital resisted the order on Nov. 6 and 7, denying Bain access to his patient. The hospital claimed that it couldn’t let Bain in because he wasn’t vaccinated against COVID-19 and that its chief medical officer wasn’t available to “proctor” Bain administering ivermectin. The daughter’s attorneys filed an emergency report with the court on Nov. 8 and Fullerton heard from both sides. The judge admonished the hospital and restated that it must allow Bain inside over a period of 15 days to do his job. When the hospital filed a motion to stay the order, Fullerton denied it, again directing the facility to comply. The ivermectin appears to have worked, and Sun Ng has recovered from COVID-19. He was discharged by the hospital on Nov. 27. “My father’s recovery is amazing,” his daughter, Man Kwan Ng, said in a statement. “My father is a tough man. He was working so hard to survive, and of course, with God’s holding hands. He weaned off oxygen about three days after moving out of the ICU. He started oral feeding before hospital discharge. He returned home without carrying a bottle of oxygen and a feeding tube installed to his stomach. He can now stand with a walker at the bedside and practice stepping. After being sedated for a month on a ventilator in ICU, his performance is beyond our expectations. Praise the Lord.” Attorney Erickson said the “happy” end result here provides “hope for the nation.” “We get calls from all over the place,” she told The Epoch Times. “People that want to sue hospitals after someone’s passed, they wanted to get the medicine and couldn’t. Obviously, that’s a different, difficult case because a medical malpractice case is very difficult.” People just want to do what’s best for their family members and “find ivermectin themselves” and have it on hand “and use it when someone starts to develop symptoms,” Erickson said. She said her legal team and client were “really thankful” that Ng recovered and “we salute” Judge Fullerton, Dr. Bain, and others, as well as the hospital for abiding by the court order in the end. For more information on ivermectin and how to obtain it, Erickson said people should visit the website of the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance at Covid19CriticalCare.com. Keith Hartenberger, system director for public relations for Edward-Elmhurst Health, declined to comment. “We’re not able to comment due to patient privacy guidelines,” he told The Epoch Times by email. Tyler Durden Wed, 12/01/2021 - 19:50.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytDec 1st, 2021

Warmongers Would Let Ukraine Become World War III

Warmongers Would Let Ukraine Become World War III Authored by Bruce Wilds via Advancing Time blog, They just won't let it go. It seems many of the so-called "warmongers" are hellbent on turning Ukraine into a major war whether the countries involved want it or not. History shows what has become known as "proxy wars" create profits for companies manufacturing weapons. The cost, of course, is then pawned off on taxpayers and a public preoccupied with personal concerns. Such talk of war is probably viewed as a blessing by President Biden and a White House that has been battered with bad press. The proof that Ukraine is unlikely to go quietly into the night is reinforced by a slew of news stories over the last few days. It includes items such as the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine is warning of "unusual Russian military activity" near the nation's borders and in the annexed peninsula of Crimea or that Canada is now considering larger deployments to Ukraine. Nothing ramps up the hype like the headline, "Ukraine fears that Russia may be preparing to invade." Brig. Gen. Kyrylo Budanov, head of Ukraine's defense intelligence agency, said last weekend. He went on to say that Russia had more than 92,000 troops amassed at the border and could attack as early as the end of January. In reaction, not only is Canada looking at deploying hundreds of additional troops to support the Canadian soldiers already in Ukraine on a training mission, it is considering redeploying some of the CF-18 fighter jets currently based in Romania. NATO Has Slowly Expanded Towards Russia I stand with those arguing this has little to do with Russia taking over the world or Ukraine's national sovereignty. It is about money, energy, and power. Several years ago I wrote a piece that urged America to stay out of a war in Ukraine. It also warned of the major advantage Putin held by having a huge well-armed army just across the Ukrainian border and that any army cobbled together to face him would most likely be unenthusiastic and politically troubled. Another reason provoking Russia is a horrible idea is that it creates the potential the current "minor skirmish" could explode into World War III with nuclear bombs entering the mix. When President Obama was in office he pulled out all the stops to paint Putin with a brush dipped in all the bad colors. Every Sunday in interview after interview Washington experts were paraded across the screens of the talk shows denouncing Putin as a "thug and a bully." This description of the former KGB officer is so ingrained in their repertoire that they seldom describe him in any other terms unless it is to add the words "dangerous or menace" to highlight the fact we should all be afraid. Clearly, the U.S. establishment loathes Putin and constantly paints him as an aggressor, a tyrant, and a killer that invaded and occupied Crimea. The fact is, it is NATO that has slowly been expanding towards Russia since Putin took power in late 1999.  In 1999, Russia was defenseless, bankrupt, and being carved up by a group stealing its resources in collusion with America. Putin changed that and resurrected the crumbling empire once again into a nation-state with coherence and purpose. Putin is credited with halting the theft of his country’s wealth by the plutocracy and restoring Russia's military strength. Putin's biggest sin may be that with blunt rhetoric he refused to accept for Russia a subservient role in an American-run world under a system drawn up by foreign politicians and business leaders. The fact is many Russians credit him with saving Russia. Today, after two decades in power, Putin’s approval rating exceeds that of many Western leaders. Ukrainian Soldiers Killed In An Unwinnable War Reports from the front in Ukraine are often buried or hidden from public view but they appear to confirm that Ukrainian troops are being sent into a meat grinder.  Putting more weapons into the hands of those unmotivated to fight for their corrupt state is merely adding fuel to this fire and doing more harm than good. Again, remember Ukraine is a financially failed state and while we can point to its potential, its massive oil and gas reserves by all rights should belong to the Ukrainian people. The IMF, however, points out that Kiev needs billions in loans and grants just to stabilize its economy after more than twenty years of massive levels of corruption. This debt and the deep, deep hole Ukraine dug itself into after a series of bad governments ran the country after it became independent of the Soviet Union. The euro-zone currently faces a lot of problems without jumping into a proxy war against rebels in Ukraine. I use the term proxy because without the money and backing of outsiders things would most likely go quiet. The failed and bankrupt country of Ukraine would most likely break into two parts with the eastern half and its people who share strong ties with Russia aligning itself with that country and Kiev, and the western-oriented portion of the country drifting towards stronger ties to the euro-zone. What is the big problem with such a solution? A great deal if you ask those in Washington that are pushing for more intervention in Ukraine. As to what motivates their desire to turn the area into a giant killing field several possibilities exist but it is mostly money and profit. War In Ukraine Is About Money, Energy, And Power! Foreign policy has often been used as a tool to advance national interest which is often dictated by economics. When it comes to the economy, energy is often considered the blood from which all strength flows and in the case of Europe the Nord Stream 2 (NS2) pipeline designed to carry natural gas from Russia to Germany remains a bone of contention. Several European countries see the pipeline as being designed to increase their energy reliance on Moscow. Those opposed to the pipeline continue to argue that "Gazprom" is not only a gas company but a platform for Russian coercion and another tool for Russia to pressure European countries. Under a provision in the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), the U.S. State Department has even threatened European corporations with ties to the pipeline on the grounds that "the project undermines energy security in Europe". To confuse the issue and muddy the waters great efforts have been made at high levels by those advocating military action to paint Russia as an aggressor. These forces aided by the media continue to link Russia's move into the majority ethnic-Russian Crimea region as a violation of Ukraine's sovereign border. The whole argument of sovereign borders is a little gem promoted by those in power, these borders are a creation of man and not visible to the birds flying above. This is an argument of convenience that masks deeper issues and the difference between "terrorist" and "freedom fighters" often depends on a person's point of view. In this case, it is clearly the new American-backed government in Kiev that is pushing to bring the eastern part of Ukraine back into the fold. Adding Ukraine to NATO and the EU is a long-held dream of neocons like Victoria Nuland and neoliberals like Biden. This is also important to those supporting the World Economic Forum’s desire to expand the EU and encircle Russia.  Putin has long been a thorn in the side of the NWO gang. After entering office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed Decree No. 117/2021 activating the Ukraine Army to recapture and re-unify with Ukraine, the autonomous region of Crimea, and the city of Sevastopol. This was in total conflict with his promise to end the now nearly seven-year-long war in eastern Ukraine that played a central role in his election in 2019. This indicates Zelensky has continued to subordinate his government’s policies to the US and NATO.   What this boils down to is that American companies want to sell and supply Europe with Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) and they seem willing to start a war to make it happen. Whether it is for profit or to minimize the threat of natural gas shipments to Europe being cut off and used as a key weapon in Russia’s political arsenal we cannot ignore the idea more is at play here than just doing the "right thing".  Many people in the "Tin Foil Hat" community have gone so far as to indicate they feel that America and elements of the CIA were involved or had a part in the overthrow of the former corrupt Ukraine government and its replacement with another corrupt but more pro Europe regime. At the time even America's Vice President, Joe Biden, saw his son join the board of a private Ukrainian oil and natural gas company. We should assume not only those involved in selling energy to Europe will profit from stopping the flow of energy from Russia but also the military-industrial complex stands to gain.Without a war, the odds of U.S. LNG significantly displacing Russian natural gas shipped by pipeline are slim. Piped gas sells at a large discount to LNG, which must be cooled to liquid form, shipped overseas, and turned back into its gaseous form. Poland recently received its first shipment of U.S. LNG last month from what is currently the only export facility in the lower 48 states. While LNG trade between the United States and Europe would help reduce the U.S. trade deficit it also stands to improve energy security among the European countries by giving them an alternative to Russian gas.  Still, it is not a cure-all, Russia can easily cut prices and adjust terms to maintain its dominant position in the European gas market and European countries are likely to continue buying most of their gas from the lowest-cost supplier. Bottom-line, Russia has traditionally been the major supplier of European gas. But it charges high prices, often in the form of long-term contracts linked to the price of oil. The overwhelming dependence on Russian gas leaves European countries from a national security standpoint vulnerable to a cutoff of crucial natural gas supplies.  This would be devastating to their economies at any time but even more so in the depths of winter. For these reasons, it makes sense for Europe to consider alternative supplies and open its doors to U.S. LNG. Regardless of the politics at play, danger lurks from flooding Ukraine with weapons, and using the people of Ukraine as pawns in this high-stakes game violates all standards of human decency. Americans should also be aware that our current policy drives Russia towards the East and into the open arms of China. This creates even more problems long-term than it solves short-term and borders on the edge of insanity. Upping tensions in the area is the fact the Kerch Strait Bridge, also known as the Crimean Bridge, is now a target that Russia will make every effort to protect. Comprised of a pair of Russian-constructed parallel bridges it spans the Strait of Kerch between the Taman Peninsula and the Kerch Peninsula of Crimea. The bridge complex provides for both road and rail traffic and has a length of 19 km. This makes it the longest bridge Russia has ever built. The war in Ukraine has not developed organically but appears to be the product of meddling. It could be argued that Biden is pushing for more military action to cover up the corruption and sins of his family that occurred in Ukraine. Mercenaries and money from America appear to be backing and propping up Kiev with America acting as the "champion" for this failed bankrupt country.  The best way for the West and Kiev to prove they are on the right path is by letting the eastern part of the country secede and then making Kiev a center of economic and democratic success.  Since the latest ceasefire agreement in the war in Donbas was implemented in July 2020, it appears the situation has not grown worse. This indicates rocking the boat is a bad idea. We can only hope those monitoring the recent events in Ukraine saying this will someday be looked back upon as the beginning of World War III are wrong. Some war game players have indicated that China could use a larger war in Ukraine to rapidly move on Taiwan. After our experiences in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan, I'm forced to wonder what these fools are getting us into? *  *  * Footnote; The following link takes you to a YouTube video of what is labeled "Insane Ukraine Fighting." It is roughly an hour of idiots firing in the air and wasting ammo, and that is the current war. Tyler Durden Wed, 12/01/2021 - 05:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 1st, 2021

Democratic Muslim Reps. Omar, Tlaib, and Carson respond to Lauren Boebert"s anti-Muslim comments: "We are not anyone"s scapegoat"

Rep. Ilhan Omar played for the press an anti-Muslim death threat voicemail that she said she received after Rep. Lauren Boebert's comments. Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar plays a voicemail containing an anti-Muslim message from an unknown person during a news conference addressing Islamophobic comments by Rep. Lauren Boebert on November 30, 2021.Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters Democratic Muslim Reps. Omar, Tlaib, and Carson held a press conference following comments from Rep. Lauren Boebert.  Last week, a video surfaced of Boebert suggesting Omar was a suicide bomber. Boebert could face action from House Democrats this week. Democratic Reps. Andre Carson, of Indiana, Ilhan Omar, of Minnesota, and Rashida Tlaib, of Michigan — the only three Muslim members of the House of Representatives — called for Rep. Lauren Boebert and Republican leadership to face consequences after Boebert's recent anti-Muslim remarks."We are committed to ensuring a real consequence," Carson, the Dean of the Muslim Caucus, said during a press conference held by the three on Tuesday. "Rep. Boebert's comments are an insult to this institution and to American ideals. We are NOT anyone's scapegoat."Carson told reporters that he was working on a resolution with Democratic leadership. Rep. Rashida Tlaib urged Republican leadership to hold members of their caucus accountable and "end this now.""We may only be three among hundreds, but we are strong advocates that will not shy away from demanding justice for our community," Tlaib said.Rep. Ilhan Omar, who spoke last, opened with the story of Salman Hamdani, a Muslim-American EMT who died helping others on 9/11 but was vilified in the media because of his faith."Not all of us are as heroic, but almost all have experienced this suspicion," Omar said, recounting anti-Muslim comments she weathered from Republican colleagues and former President Donald Trump."On my first day, my then-colleague Steven King claimed that another member said there may be four pounds of C4 under my hijab that could destroy half of congress," Omar said, referring to a tweet King made last week. She added that Islamophobia "pervades our culture, our politics, and even policy decisions." Omar spoke of the treatment Keith Ellison, her predecessor, faced during his tenure as a Muslim politician."I myself have reported hundreds of threats on my life, often triggered by Republican attacks on my faith. And this week once again saw another increase. Here is just one voicemail my office received yesterday." Omar said.Omar then played a minute-long voicemail that she said she received recently. (Warning, the language in the video is graphic.)—The Recount (@therecount) November 30, 2021"We see you Muslim sand N-word bitch, we know what you're up to. You're all about taking over our country. Don't worry, there's plenty that will love the opportunity to take you off the face of this fucking earth. Come get it. But you fucking Muslim piece of shit. You jihadist. We know what you are. You're a fucking traitor. You will not live much longer," the man who sent the voicemail said. "We cannot pretend that this hate speech from leading politicians does not have real consequences," Omar said.Last week, a video surfaced of Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado telling an Islamophobic joke about Omar that suggested she was a suicide bomber. While House Democratic leadership has condemned Boebert's rhetoric, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told reporters on Tuesday that a decision had not yet been made over whether to censure the congresswoman."There really hasn't been significant discussion about it, so I don't want to prejudge what action we think will be necessary," he said. "Hopefully the Republican Party and its leadership would take direct action to cleanse itself from this toxic kind of conduct."But House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has yet to comment on Boebert's remarks publicly."Silence is not appropriate," said Hoyer.'I don't think that will be a productive conversation'Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado at a press conference on March 17, 2021.Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesThe controversy over Boebert's Islamophobic remarks began on Thanksgiving Day, when a video surfaced on Twitter showing Boebert at a campaign event recounting a supposed run-in with Omar at the US Capitol where they both work in the House of Representatives.Boebert said she stepped onto an elevator with Omar on her way back to her office after a vote, prompting a Capitol Police officer to run towards the elevator with "fret all over his face." Boebert describes being confused about the encounter before noticing Omar standing in the elevator with her."Well, she doesn't have a backpack. We should be fine," Boebert said she told the officer.Boebert said she then turned to Omar and added, "Oh look, the Jihad Squad decided to show up for work today." "Jihad Squad" is a derisive term for the Squad, a group of six progressive members of Congress who are all people of color.Omar has denied that this encounter happened.Boebert later tweeted: "I apologize to anyone in the Muslim community I offended with my comment about Rep. Omar. I have reached out to her office to speak with her directly. There are plenty of policy differences to focus on without this unnecessary distraction."That led to a fractious phone call on Monday between the two members, with Boebert claiming that Omar hung up on her while the Minnesota congresswoman's team said that they ended the call after it became clear Boebert would not apologize more forcefully for her actions.McCarthy told CNN in a statement on Saturday that he had spoken with Hoyer about setting up a meeting between the two congresswomen. But Hoyer told reporters he "didn't broker a call" between the two members after speaking with Rep. Omar about the possibility."I called Mr. McCarthy back and I said I don't think that will be a productive conversation," said Hoyer, noting that Boebert has employed Islamophobic rhetoric throughout both her campaign and her tenure in Congress.Another video surfaced on Tuesday of Boebert telling a similar story about Omar at a separate event.—andrew kaczynski (@KFILE) November 30, 2021Former President Trump issued a lie-filled rant about Omar on Tuesday, calling on the Somali-American refugee to apologize for "abandoning her former country." Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 30th, 2021

The 14 best Yale courses you can take online for free, including a popular class on how to be happier

You can take Yale courses for free through Coursera and Open Yale Courses (some offer certificates). Topics include psychology, finance, and more. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.You can take Yale University online courses for free through Coursera and Open Yale Courses (some offer certificates). Topics include psychology, finance, and more.Yale; Alyssa Powell/Insider Yale is one of the top schools in the world — and you can take some of its online courses for free.  Free Yale online courses range from behavioral finance to the science of happiness. Below are 14 free Yale courses you can take online. You can browse more on Coursera here. Yale University is ranked as one of the best 15 schools in the world, but you don't need to get into the 6.1% of accepted applicants in order to take one of its courses.  You can take Yale's classes online without paying a cent — including The Science of Well-Being, an adaptation of the school's most popular on-campus course ever. Barriers typically associated with Ivy Leagues (exclusivity, cost, location) don't factor into massive open online courses (MOOCs).Below, you'll find a handful of free Yale courses from Coursera as well as Yale's own Open Yale Courses platform. You can pay to upgrade for graded homework and certificates of completion through Coursera, but Open Yale Courses only gives you access to free lectures and readings. 14 free, popular Yale University courses you can take online:The Science of Well-BeingAlyssa Powell/InsiderFree to enrollLength: 19 hoursBased on the most popular course in Yale's history, this class combines positive psychology with behavioral science to increase your own happiness using concrete, productive habits. Read our full review of The Science of Well-Being course here. For more tips on how to improve your happiness, read our interview with Laurie Santos, the course's professor, here. Financial MarketsCrystal Cox/Business InsiderFree to enrollLength: 27 hoursTaught by Yale economics professor Robert Shiller, this course is an introduction to risk management and behavioral finance principles so students can better understand securities, insurance, and banking industries in the real world.The class places an emphasis on "financially-savvy leadership skills" and is structured around the goal of using these industries effectively and in the service of a better society.  Introduction to PsychologyAlyssa Powell/InsiderFree to enrollLength: 15 hoursThis intro class (and the most popular psychology course on Coursera) provides students with a comprehensive overview of the scientific study of thought and behavior. Course topics include perception, communication, learning, memory, decision-making, persuasion, emotions, and social behavior.Students look at how these aspects are affected by variables like development and illness while grappling with tough questions like "What makes us happy?"Read our full review of the course here. Introduction to Negotiationmentatdgt/PexelsFree to enrollLength: 31 hoursDesigned to help students build a framework for analyzing and structuring negotiations, this class includes real-world opportunities to negotiate with other students using case studies that are based on common business and life situations.Course topics range from negotiation preparation to making ultimatums, and students can receive feedback on their performance, as well as compare their arguments to those of their peers. The course also offers insight into more complex situations, such as negotiating when you have no power, negotiating over email, and the role of gender differences in negotiation.  Moral Foundations of PoliticsAaron Kitteredge/PexelsFree to enrollLength: 45 hours "When do governments deserve our allegiance, and when should they be denied it?"Ian Shapiro, a Yale political science professor, delves into how the modern West has responded to this question. Students survey the major political theories of the Enlightenment, as well as the later rejection of Enlightenment political thinking. The class also covers how democratic politics relate to Enlightenment and Anti-Enlightenment political thinking.Students consider the practical implications of the diverse theories through debates on concrete problems such as economic inequality, affirmative action, the distribution of healthcare, and more. Everyday Parenting: The ABCs of Child RearingLukas/PexelsFree to enrollLength: 21 hoursIn this course, Dr. Alan E. Kazdin, Professor of Psychology and Child Psychiatry, offers step-by-step instructions for building ideal behaviors in children and adolescents. He also addresses common parenting misconceptions and ineffective strategies.Among many other techniques, students learn that simple modifications to tone of voice and phrasing can be highly effective. A Law Student's ToolkitCQF Avocat/PexelsFree to enrollLength: 16 hoursGood for both aspiring law students in search of an advantage and advanced law students looking for a refresher, this class goes over foundational topics like terminology, concepts, and tools that lawyers and legal academics use to make their arguments.  The Global Financial CrisisAnna Nekrashevich/PexelsFree to enrollLength: 64 hoursTimothy F. Geithner, former US Secretary of the Treasury, and Yale professor Andrew Metrick examine the causes, events, policy responses, and aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis, discussing lessons we've learned to any future crises.Topics include housing and mortgages; safe assets and the global savings glut; anxiety, and more. Moralities of Everyday LifeKat Jayne/PexelsFree to enrollLength: 24 hoursThis course delves into the psychological foundations of our moral lives. Topics include compassion, the origins of morality, how different cultures influence moral thought and action, and more. The class ends by exploring the paradox of being a moral agent when studies show that our moral behavior is powerfully influenced by the situations we find ourselves in.  Managing Emotions in Times of Uncertainty & StressThe kids' desks were spaced apart, windows were open, and students wore masks, but the teacher didn't always have their mask on.Halfpoint Images / Getty ImagesFree to enrollLength: 10 hoursDeveloped by the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, this course is designed to educate school staff in the science and impact of stress as well as offer strategies for helping students to identify and manage their emotions. Essentials of Global HealthCrystal Cox/Business InsiderFree to enrollLength: 70 hoursEssentials of Global Health is designed to be a comprehensive introduction to global health. The class has a particular emphasis on low- and middle-income countries, the health of the poor, health disparities, and how health matters in the context of global interdependence. Much of the course focuses on investigating five key questions. What do people get sick, disabled, and die from? Why do they suffer from these conditions? Which people are most affected? Why should we care about such concerns? What can be done to address key health issues as quickly as possible, and in sustainable ways?   Journey of the Universe: The Unfolding of LifeEuropean Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet photographed the aurora from the International Space Station on August 20, 2021.ESA/NASA–T. PesquetFree to audit; free with 7-day trialLength: 24 hours"Journey of the Universe" draws on the Emmy-award-winning film, "Journey of the Universe," and the book one of its instructors (Mary Evelyn Tucker) created to tell the story of evolution that also investigates implications for humans and our ecological future. Students watch history, philosophy, art, and religion coalesce into an epic narrative "rather than a series of facts separated by scientific disciplines." By integrating humans so firmly, the course's designers hope students will see themselves as integral to this great cosmic narrative.  Introduction to Climate Change and HealthMarkus Spiske/PexelsFree to audit; free with 7-day trialLength: 15 hoursThis course was designed to get critical information on climate change into the hands of people who can take concrete steps to address its threat, including health and environmental professionals, changemakers, and the general public. Robert Dubrow, a Yale epidemiology professor, covers the science of climate change with an emphasis on health equity. Students learn how climate change affects human health and how measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions can both limit future climate change and provide immediate health "co-benefits." Health Behavior Change: From Evidence to ActionProFormFree to enrollLength: 15 hoursNot everyone makes rational decisions about their health. Why? This course delves into the social, psychological, and behavioral factors that contribute to health decisions and behaviors, with the goal of improving public health efforts.Students also learn how to apply what they learned to their own lives from their instructor, Marney White, a professor of public health and epidemiology and of psychiatry.Coursera FAQ:Coursera; Alyssa Powell/Business InsiderAccess to lectures and assignments depends on your type of enrollment. If you take a course in Audit Mode, you can see most course material for free. To access graded assignments and earn a certificate, you need to purchase the Certificate Experience, either during or after your audit.If you don't see the audit option:The course may not offer an audit option. You can try a free trial instead, or apply for financial aid.The course may offer a 'Full Course, No Certificate' option instead. This alternative lets you see all course materials, submit required assignments, and get a final grade. This also means that you will not be able to purchase a Certificate Experience.Browse all courses from Yale University on Coursera here. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 30th, 2021

Government Handling Of COVID Has Been "A Crime", Expect More Selloffs: Trader

Government Handling Of COVID Has Been "A Crime", Expect More Selloffs: Trader Submitted by QTR's Fringe Finance This is Part 1 of an exclusive interview with Rosemont Seneca, a U.S. based professional trader focused on event-driven and distressed situations. Rosemont spent their career on the buy-side working as a financials analyst and their investing/trading style is inspired in equal parts by Icahn and Druckenmiller. Like me, Rosemont is not an RIA and does not hold licenses. Market commentary and opinion expressed in this interview are personal views, not investment advice or solicitation for business. QTR’s Note: The point of this blog is to bring to the reader information and perspectives they, or the mainstream media, may not otherwise find on their own. The cool thing about FinTwit is that you get to meet people based on their ideas and investing acumen and not their identities. I have been following Rosemont on Twitter for years and love their perspective and takes on the market - their takes often stand at odds with my own and they have helped me broaden my horizon and be less bearish on markets, while still maintaining my skepticism about monetary policy. They have chosen to remain completely anonymous with me, which I respect, and I have never personally met or otherwise know anything about the identity of Rosemont. That doesn’t matter, however, because I like their ideas and their commentary. You can follow Rosemont on Twitter here. Part 2 of this interview can be found here. Bernard Baruch, 1919 / Photo used for @rosemontseneca's Twitter profileQ: Hi Rosemont. Thanks for agreeing to an interview for my readers despite wanting to stay anonymous. Right off the bat: why do you use Bernard Baruch for your Twitter profile photo? Baruch is one of the most fascinating Wall Street characters of 20th Century. He has tremendous intuition and gut instinct for the markets, macro economics and politics and he reminds us that the three are intertwined at all times That’s a great segue to my next question: you recently got very bullish on gold when you hadn't been in the past - what caused that shift in attitude? We saw a global risk contagion event in capital markets today (11/26); Bitcoin lost over 8.0% of its value, the S&P dropped -2.2% and gold ended the session flat on the day after a mostly positive session. We expect more days like this in 2022. This is the first time since the post-GFC period in 2009 that we’ve purchased or held gold instruments in our portfolios. At present we own an 8.0% position in the GLD ETF and periodically traffic in Barrick Gold and Newmont equities. Recall that during the Q4 2018 ‘Taper Tantrum’ and most acute phase of the COVID dislocation in Q1-Q2 2020, gold futures, ETFs, and gold miner equities protected your wealth from severe capital market drawdowns. Gold is an umbrella we hope will keep us dry if it rains very hard next year. Holding gold in a portfolio today is a pragmatic ‘TINA’ bet borne of healthy caution in the wake of a multi-year equity bubble that has begun to run amok. The reality is gold is not an optimal investment for compounding wealth in the long-run; owning the GLD ETF since inception in 2004 has returned a roughly 8.0% CAGR which is adequate for a pension fund or retiree but relatively mediocre vs. the alternatives. Investors are better off owning Walmart, Costco, McDonald’s or Starbucks and grow our capital tax-efficiently with high-ROE/RoIC ‘compounders’ that pay dividends. The gold ‘streamers’ such as Wheaton and Franco-Nevada however happen to be very interesting investments with compelling business models that have generated compounder-like returns for Shareholders over the last two to three decades. We’ve come a long way from the market depths of March 2020 and perhaps it’s time to take a more cautious stance going into year-end. We are currently operating on the premise that the Nasdaq and S&P could see negative returns in 2022. If the indices see a drawdown of 10-20% (or greater) we expect gold to appreciate or hold its value in real terms next year. There are labor and supply chain shortages globally that will definitely impact the gold mining industry. If CPI hits escape velocity and reaches 8-10% higher next year, we’ll be content with a 10% allocation in gold as we expect institutional and speculator capital flows to put a firm bid behind the yellow metal. You're one of the very few out there calling the entire crypto space a bubble. What's the key argument in differentiating crypto from other assets? Is crypto worth zero or is there a value and, if there is, where does the value come from? In the last few years market participants have adopted a pseudo-religious attitude towards Bitcoin, Ethereum, and a whole host of crypto currencies. People have come to either ‘believe’ or ‘not believe’ in the asset class and its prospects. What we can definitely say today is that there are over 14,850 different crypto currencies trading on over 430 venues with a combined ‘market capitalization’ of roughly $2.5 trillion dollars. To our best knowledge these assets produce zero cash flow or dividends, exhibit very high volatility, remain subject to boom-bust sequences, and are used as an apparatus for elaborate criminal hacking schemes. Photo: Time.comThe average daily volume of these 14,000+ crypto currencies is roughly $150 billion per day. We estimate that approximately 90% of this turnover is driven by purely speculative or gambling capital flows from small retail traders. If we assume that roughly 2-3% of average daily volume consists of bona fide commercial transactions (including portfolio investment), this leaves almost $10 billion of daily volume that derives from money laundering, fraud and other illicit schemes etc. Some governments have rushed to legalize, adopt or allow for crypto currencies to proliferate in their economy for fear of stymieing or not supporting innovation. Others have taken a hardline stance and begun to outlaw the usage of crypto in their banking and financial system. We are of the view that Bitcoin-like protocols present a clear & present danger to many emerging market countries' ability to issue currency and sovereign debt over the next decade. As the true nature of these crypto assets become more evident, we’ll see more and more countries outright ban and prosecute their usage in their economies. Bitcoin and Ethereum (combined 60% of total crypto market capitalization) may very well survive and find a way to thrive due to ‘fiat-by-consensus’ adoption. Under that scenario they clearly will not trade to zero. But that doesn’t negate the presence of a current bubble where 99% of cryptos are of near-zero ultimate value. Promoters have come to euphemize cryptocurrencies as ‘projects’ but most cryptocurrencies are outright frauds.   We think it’s time for crypto investors and regulators to have a more honest, empirical framework for discussing the intrinsic value and risks of these crypto assets. If we can handicap real estate on cap rates and LTV ratios and equites on P/E ratios and cashflow yields, we should adopt a framework for Bitcoin and Ethereum etc (Dogecoin?) that doesn’t border on the pseudo-religion. I wrote an entire article based off your assumption that we are once again in a 1999-2000 style crash setup. What were the signs that helped you recognize this? In the wake of the COVID crisis and ensuing Monetary/Fiscal stimulus, too many people with very little financial literacy or professional training took up day-trading of equities, options and crypto currencies as a hobby and eventual vocation. The prudent, cautious amongst us (Warren Buffett included) were seemingly left behind in the speculative frenzy that ensued in the summer of 2020. We’re often reminded to not confuse investing/trading luck with skill. Regardless, many very young people made a lot of money in a very short period and thought that this process was somehow normal or even sustainable. To be perfectly clear: there was nothing normal about the Meme Stock frenzy, SPAC mania, or crypto and NFT bubble that erupted. When we witnessed trillion-dollar market caps such as Tesla and Nvidia trading like biotechs in the frenzy of Q4 of 2021, we decided we’d seen enough of this equity market mania. It was eerily reminiscent of Cisco, Lucent, Intel in 1999. The equity market today feels bloated and reckless; it’s probably a good time to start taking chips off the table and leave the party while people are still having fun. November 2021 was a harsh reminder that valuations and capital structures eventually do matter; people will learn the hard way. What are the most likely catalysts to set the market off moving lower? Nobody rings the bell at a market top, but negative catalysts include: -       inability to eradicate COVID in Europe & Asia will keep global trade and travel routes shut for another year -       cascade of lingering supply chain woes = potentially very recessionary -       debilitating energy price spikes in 2022-2023 = looming stagflation -       margin loan balances are at historically very high levels -       continuation of the Tech selloff we witnessed in Q4 2021 -       fraud & accounting malpractice (always prevalent in manias) -       Fed signaling significantly higher interest rates in the aftermath of inflation -       Geopolitics: a potential Kamala Harris Presidency would see Russia and China turn belligerent overnight What's your take on how we're handling Covid? You've mentioned what happened to our economy over the last 18 months was "economic terrorism". Will we learn - either through people revolting or negative consequences - or will we continue down this Orwellian path? It’s very disappointing to see how politicized the pandemic became in the United States. It obviously didn’t help that COVID struck in an Election year, but there will be plenty of blame to go around the table when a proper post-mortem analysis is conducted years from now. We hope that Bethany McLean (Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room) will eventually write a thoroughly unbiased expose on the timeline of policy decisions in 2020. We’re of the firm belief that our Leaders in Washington D.C. did more harm than good in the early months of this pandemic. We can safely conclude the 2020 COVID shutdowns are the direct cause for the supply chain dislocations and hyperinflation that Americans are about to suffer. The shutdowns that we witnessed in the United States were a flawed policy decision akin to willful pilot error or ‘economic terrorism;’ Federal and State Governments suffocated millions of livelihoods and permanently destroyed hundreds of thousands of perfectly viable small & medium family-owned businesses. The larger, better capitalized multinational corporations capable of accessing capital markets and Government Stimulus Programs not only survived, they eventually thrived. What happened can only be described as a crime. Part 2 of this interview, where we discuss inflation, the Biden administration, why China banned crypto and more, can be found here. -- DISCLAIMER:  It should be assumed I or Rosemont Seneca has positions in any security or commodity mentioned in this article. None of this is a solicitation to buy or sell securities. Neither I nor RS hold licenses or are investing professional. None of this is financial advice. Positions can always change immediately as soon as I publish this, with or without notice. You are on your own. Do not make decisions based on my blog. I exist on the fringe. The publisher does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information provided in this page. These are not the opinions of any of my employers, partners, or associates. I get shit wrong a lot.  Tyler Durden Tue, 11/30/2021 - 15:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 30th, 2021

Victim Hopes For Justice In Ghislaine Maxwell Trial

Victim Hopes For Justice In Ghislaine Maxwell Trial Authored by Charlotte Cuthbertson via The Epoch Times, Jeffrey Epstein molested her and she didn’t tell a soul for 17 years. Teresa Helm was 22, and she had already patched her life back together after being sexually abused by a close family member, starting at age 8. “I really suffered in silence,” Helm told The Epoch Times’ “Insight” magazine. As a child, she had told her mother about the abuse in the hope that she’d make it stop. Instead, her mother told her not to tell anyone, and it continued for 3 1/2 years. “I just didn’t get help, even though I kept asking for it. And so after what happened with Jeffrey, I suffered in silence, just like I had always kind of done,” she said. In 2002, Helm had moved to California from Ohio and was attending a massage therapy school, positive of a bright future. It became even more exciting when a fellow student, a year ahead of her, approached her about an opportunity for a traveling massage therapist job. Helm was interested and was connected with another young woman, whom she subsequently met at Santa Monica to discuss the potential job. “We looked similar, we were at a similar age, so I connected with her,” Helm said. “I never felt like anything she was saying to me wasn’t legitimate, or I never felt fearful.” Teresa Helm at age 21. (Courtesy of Teresa Helm) Helm said the woman painted a phenomenal picture of what life would be like as “Miss Maxwell’s” personal traveling massage therapist—private jets, top chefs, access to the best education all over the world. “So I’d say that she did her job very well. Because in an hour or so of walking around the boardwalk, I was like, ‘Wow. This is really great. I’m so lucky, this is meant to be.'” Wanting to grasp the incredible opportunity, Helm told the woman she was interested, and was informed that she’d need to fly to New York City and meet Maxwell for the final interview. Two weeks later, Helm’s travel to New York City had been arranged—flights, driver, an Upper East Side apartment to stay in, a gift basket waiting. “I go meet with Miss Maxwell. I was expecting to give a massage because that’s what the interview was pertaining to. And everything with Ghislaine Maxwell was legitimate and pleasant, and she was very polite. Her home was stunning,” Helm said. “I was super impressed with her because she’s this very well-spoken woman, and she’s clearly successful because of her beautiful home, and she has photos on the wall of ex-president Bill Clinton. And I’m thinking: ‘Wow, she’s really something special, she’s worked hard. She’s accomplished a lot in her life.'” Helm spent a couple of hours in the home before Maxwell told her she was next going to meet up with Maxwell’s partner, Jeffrey. It was the first time Helm had heard of a partner, but nothing had indicated she should feel alarmed or that she was in any kind of danger. Any red flags, she realized in hindsight, had been easily normalized and explained away. Even when Maxwell told her to “give Jeffrey whatever he wants” during his massage because he “always gets what he wants,” Helm thought Maxwell clearly must mean, “Do a good job, because he’s had a lot of professional massages.” “Because of my trust with [Maxwell]—she was able to create that trusting bond within me in a matter of hours—I literally walked myself to the man of the house who was going to assault me,” Helm said. “I took myself there, because those three women did their job perfectly well and I didn’t suspect a darn thing. When I look back at the fact that three women set me up to be assaulted, it’s just disgusting. It’s a different level of betrayal.” Helm said Epstein sexually assaulted her in his office during the interview and threatened her as she ran out of the house, her world shaking and head spinning. Shocked to the core and full of shame, Helm returned to California the following day. (Photo and illustration by The Epoch Times) “The shame was overwhelming, it was paralyzing,” she recalled. “I was just so ashamed to say anything.” Her life spiraled down, and three months later she broke her lease, dropped out of school, and returned to Ohio. For the next five years, Helm fell into a destructive pattern. But just weeks before her 28th birthday, she found out she was pregnant, and life shifted again—this time toward the positive. “That’s what really saved my life and turned my life around,” she said. “It was the first time I really valued myself. It was like that sense of purpose. And knowing that I was going to protect my child the way that I was never protected. “Then after having him, I was so honored to be his mom. And then it really actually dug up, it was like, almost hatred toward my mom and Jeffrey. That first year of my son’s life was a lot of emotional processing for me. And I just wanted to kind of remove myself from the world and just be a mom. And that’s what I did.” Helm’s son has just turned 14, and she also has a daughter who is 7. She is the full-time caregiver for both. ‘The World Shifted’ Helm, who had moved to Florida, was folding laundry one Thursday evening in July 2019 when she went online and saw a headline about Epstein after he’d been arrested for sex trafficking. She clicked the link to open the article and came face-to-face with her abuser. In that instant, she realized “Jeffrey” was Epstein. Stunned, she sat down and googled Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein. “It was life changing, just in that moment. It was like retraumatization, No. 1. No. 2, it was like the world shifted and changed all over again. It’s been different ever since that moment, like the world changed yet again, in that moment and it has not gone back. Nor will it,” Helm said. “Because I didn’t know there were others. I didn’t know that this was this huge thing with these people.” The following day, after a regular yoga class, Helm sat in her car and sobbed as the emotions swirled. She decided it was time to break her silence. The opportunity to speak out presented itself quickly. Epstein was found dead in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center on Aug. 10, 2019, one month after his arrest. A medical examiner ruled it a suicide by hanging nine days later. The New York judge, Richard Berman, would be forced to dismiss the charges against Epstein—which included the sex trafficking of dozens of minors from as early as 1995—but not before he allowed survivors to speak. Twenty-three women spoke in the courthouse on Aug. 27 about being sexually abused by Epstein, either in person or through a lawyer. “I’m coming forward because it is time to bring light to that darkness, and it’s time to replace that darkness with light,” Helm said that day. She had only decided that morning to speak out and use her name publicly. Another survivor, “Jane Doe 9,” said she was 15 when she met Epstein, in 2004. “I flew on Jeffrey Epstein’s plane to Zorro Ranch, where I was sexually molested by him for many hours.” she said through a lawyer. “What I remember most vividly was him explaining to me how beneficial the experience was for me and how much he was helping me to grow. Yikes.” Epstein’s Zorro Ranch is in New Mexico. He also owned multimillion dollar properties in New York, Florida, and France, and his own islands in the Caribbean, Little St. James Island and Great St. James Island. Epstein has been linked with a veritable who’s who of the fashion and political worlds. Attorney Gloria Allred (R) and her client Teala Davies, who claims to have been a victim of sexual abuse by Jeffrey Epstein when she was a minor, at a press conference to announce a lawsuit against Epstein’s estate, in New York on Nov. 21, 2019. (TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images) Chauntae Davies also spoke in the courtroom. She said she was recruited by Maxwell while doing a massage apprenticeship. “Upon my first meeting her, I wouldn’t know I had been recruited until many years later, when I would read it in a headline,” Davies said. She said Maxwell and Epstein took her in, sent her to school, and gave her a job. “They flew me around the world, introduced me to a world I had only dreamt of and made me feel as though I had become a part of their family—another thing I was desperately searching for,” Davies said. “But on my third or fourth time meeting them, they brought me to Jeffrey’s island for the first time.” Davies said a knock on her door late at night indicated that Epstein was ready for another massage, so she hesitantly went to his villa. As Epstein began his assault on her, Davies said she told him, “No, please stop.” “But that just seemed to excite him more. He continued to rape me, and when he was finished, he hopped off and went to the shower.” Davies said she ran out of the villa, cried herself to sleep, and then spent two weeks in a Los Angeles hospital throwing up from a neurological disorder that manifests into violent vomiting attacks, largely triggered by stress. “Jeffrey’s abuse would continue for the next three years, and I allowed it to continue because I had been taken advantage of my entire life and had been conditioned to just accept it.” A protestor holds up a sign of Jeffrey Epstein in front of the federal courthouse in New York City on July 8, 2019. (Stephanie Keith/Getty Images) Maxwell on Trial Helm had finally broken her silence, and it was a watershed moment. She didn’t get to see Epstein face his charges, but she’s eager to be in court to see Maxwell face hers. FBI agents arrested Maxwell at her New Hampshire estate on July 2, 2020. She has been in a Brooklyn jail since. Bail has been denied several times, with Judge Alison Nathan ruling that she is a flight risk. The trial was originally set for July, but was delayed until Nov. 29 and is expected to last six weeks. Jury selection began on Nov. 16. Maxwell is charged with sex trafficking children, perjury, and the enticement of minors while she was a close associate of Epstein, according to a superseding indictment filed in the Southern District of New York on March 29. “In particular, from at least in or about 1994, up to and including at least in or about 2004, Maxwell assisted, facilitated, and contributed to Jeffrey Epstein’s abuse of minor girls by, among other things, helping Epstein to recruit, groom, and ultimately abuse victims known to Maxwell and Epstein to be under the age of 18,” the indictment alleges. “Moreover, in an effort to conceal her crimes, Maxwell repeatedly lied when questioned about her conduct, including in relation to some of the minor victims described herein, when providing testimony under oath in 2016.” Virginia Giuffre (formerly Virginia Roberts), one of Epstein’s most well-known accusers, claimed in a 2016 deposition that she was directed by Maxwell to have sex with a number of rich and powerful men, including “foreign presidents,” a “well-known” prime minister, and “other world leaders.” None of the men Giuffre named in the documents have been charged, and all have denied the claims. A court officer stands outside a Manhattan courthouse where media have gathered for the arraignment hearing of Ghislaine Maxwell in New York City on July 14, 2020. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images) Maxwell, often described as a British socialite, maintains her innocence on all charges and in a 2016 deposition claimed she had no idea Epstein abused young girls. During the deposition, Maxwell was asked: “Did Jeffrey Epstein have a scheme to recruit underage girls for sexual massages? If you know.” She replied: “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” according to the transcript. “I never saw any inappropriate underage activities with Jeffrey ever.” Maxwell acknowledged that former President Bill Clinton traveled on Epstein’s plane, but denied introducing Britain’s Prince Andrew to underage sex partners. “I’m ready for this trial to start,” Helm said. “I really aim to be there and look at her right in her face, and equally as important is for her to see me.” Helm isn’t named in the indictment and won’t be testifying, but that doesn’t matter. “I’m hopeful that there will be justice in this, that she will finally be held accountable and finally be sentenced for crimes that she has committed and for the lives that she has just willingly stepped in and ruined. This is a woman that changed the entire trajectory of my life and not for the better.” Helm said she hopes Maxwell is found guilty on all charges and receives the maximum penalties. “I don’t think for a moment that she deserves to be on the outside of a jail cell,” she said. “I and other girls, we’re on the outside of these bars, and yet we haven’t fully regained our freedom back. So I hope she gets the maximum sentence. She doesn’t deserve any less than that.” Helm said she often gets asked if she thinks Epstein’s death means Maxwell is now a scapegoat and is being punished for his crimes. “No, I do not. She knew what she was doing. She didn’t think twice about doing it. She did it countless times. She did it … very masterfully, very successfully,” she said. “You don’t help facilitate and run and orchestrate one of the largest sex trafficking rings on this globe, on this earth, without knowing what you’re doing and intentionally doing it.” An exterior view of the Metropolitan Detention Center in New York City on July 14, 2020. (Arturo Holmes/Getty Images) The indictment alleges that Maxwell befriended some of Epstein’s minor victims prior to their abuse, including by asking the victims about their lives, their schools, and their families. Other times, Maxwell and Epstein would take the victim shopping or to the movies, or pay travel or education expenses. “Having developed a rapport with a victim, Maxwell would try to normalize sexual abuse for a minor victim by, among other things, discussing sexual topics, undressing in front of the victim, being present when a minor victim was undressed, and/or being present for sex acts involving the minor victim and Epstein,” the court document states. The indictment goes on to say that in order to “maintain and increase his supply of victims,” Epstein, Maxwell, and other Epstein employees also paid certain victims to recruit additional girls to be similarly abused by Epstein. Helm said she has tried to understand what would cause a woman such as Ghislaine to intentionally set girls up to be forever traumatized. She said she has read how Ghislaine lost her father, whom she was very close to, and met Epstein not long afterwards. Helm said she lost her own father unexpectedly almost seven years ago. “I still to this very day miss him incredibly, and I am not out there hurting people,” she said. “There’s no grievance, or there’s no tragedy that justifies you turning around becoming literally a monster.” Maxwell’s lawyers didn’t respond to a request for comment by Insight. Epstein avoided criminal charges for years, raising questions about being protected by the rich and powerful. In September 2007, he entered into a nonprosecution agreement that gave him immunity against prosecution for numerous federal sex crimes in the Southern District of Florida. As part of the deal, in 2008, Epstein ultimately pled guilty to state charges of procuring a minor for prostitution and was registered as a sex offender. He spent 13 months in jail but was granted work release for 12 hours a day, six days a week. The Grooming Process Grooming and recruitment are critical steps in the sex trafficking industry. “If you don’t have a successful grooming process, you don’t have the abuse, because it just doesn’t make it that far,” Helm said. Jennifer Hill, assistant executive director of the Children’s Assessment Center in Houston, said her organization sees 5,000 children a year who’ve been sexually abused, both by family members or through trafficking. And that’s just the children who have spoken up. “I think most people never, ever tell. And that’s what’s tragic,” she said. Hill said it’s hard to discern how many children don’t report abuse, but statistics show that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before they’re 18. Common events—the divorce of parents, a breakup, bullying, or the death of a family member—can all make a child vulnerable. Many trafficked children come from the foster care system. But sexual abuse is the most common source of vulnerability for sex-trafficked children—70 to 90 percent of these children have a history of sexual abuse, according to anti-trafficking organization Path2Freedom. Hill said the grooming and recruitment process takes different forms, but involves getting access to the intended victim and gaining their trust so that eventually they’ll be willing to listen to that person, and that person has some control over their behavior. For children, it can include buying gifts, listening to their problems, or helping them in some way. These days, a lot of grooming occurs online through messaging apps or social media and gaming platforms. Post-abuse, children can be threatened to stay silent. Hill said she hopes the Maxwell trial will spur other victims of trafficking and sexual abuse to come forward. As a former prosecutor of child sex abuse cases, she said a lot of abusers are teachers or trusted adults in the community, which can be intimidating for victims. Her organization conducts awareness trainings for law enforcement, medical professionals, mental health professionals, teachers, and the community on recognizing and reporting trafficking. Helm said so many lessons can be taken from the Maxwell case, “like the fact that it can be a woman.” “That woman groomed me precisely well, beautifully. And that grooming process is so crucial for parents to identify that this is what’s happening to their children. Or for a child to think I think this might be happening to me. Because that grooming process is such a transfer of power [and] a gatekeeper to the abuse.” During 2019, the National Human Trafficking hotline received reports of 11,500 human trafficking cases, representing more than 22,000 victims. California, Texas, and Florida are identified as the worst three states for human trafficking. In Texas alone, more than 79,000 children are being trafficked for sex, according to a study by the University of Texas at Austin. “There’s not one single zip code in this nation, not one that is exempt from trafficking,” Helm said. “It happens in the wealthiest of the wealthiest, to the most impoverished, and everything in between. It has exploded online.” A residence belonging to Jeffrey Epstein on East 71st St. on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in New York City on July 8, 2019. (Kevin Hagen/Getty Images) The Threat Online Fifty-five percent of domestic sex-trafficking survivors who entered the life in 2015 or later met their trafficker for the first time using a mobile app, website, or text, said Tammy Toney-Butler, an anti-human trafficking consultant for Path2Freedom. Predators ramped up their sexual enticement of minors and the posting of child sexual abuse material as schools closed and kids worked online from home in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). The number of reports of online child sexual abuse materials reported to the NCMEC during the first six months of 2020 surged 90 percent to more than 12 million, the center reported. Reports of predators enticing minors went up 93 percent to more than 13,200. Facebook was used for most (59 percent) of the online recruitment in active sex trafficking cases in 2020, according to the Human Trafficking Institute’s annual trafficking report. That makes Facebook “by far the most frequently referenced website or app in public sources connected with these prosecutions, which was also true in 2019,” the report found. In June, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that Facebook could be held liable if sex traffickers use the platform to prey on children, arguing the social media website isn’t a “lawless no-man’s-land.” The ruling was made following three Houston-area lawsuits involving teenage trafficking victims who alleged that they met their abusers through Facebook’s messaging service. Prosecutors also said that Facebook was negligent by not doing more to block sex traffickers from using the site. The court said the victims can move forward with their lawsuits against Facebook. They claimed that the company violated the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, which was approved in 2009. Toney-Butler said the income traffickers can make from one victim can be close to $400,000 a year, and survivors have reported being forced to have sex more than 20 times a day while being six to seven months pregnant. And once a woman is over 18, she’s often seen by society as “a drug-addicted prostitute” rather than a victim of sex trafficking, she said. A child, after being pulled into sex trafficking, “only lives for seven years before they succumb to the environment,” Toney-Butler said. Suicide, drug overdose, and violence are often the killers. Teresa Helm (R) with three other sex-trafficking survivors, (L–R) Cathy Hoffman, Sabrina Lopez, and Nissi Hamilton, in Houston on April 24. (Kathleen O. Ryan) The Future Now 41, Helm is hopeful. Aside from looking after her children, she’s a fierce advocate and mentor to other survivors and a consultant to organizations and politicians to ensure laws and programs are victim-centered. “Helping others is the ultimate payback. That I didn’t completely break forever. I’ve been broken and I have repaired myself stronger,” she said. She referred to the old Japanese art form called kintsukuroi, or “to repair with gold,” which is the practice of repairing broken ceramics with gold, making them stronger and more beautiful than before. “And I definitely kind of view myself as that, in the fact that I can turn around and leverage this pain into purpose and help others—that’s the ultimate thing for me, to be able to be strong enough to go out and help others, help them change their lives, help them recover their lives and recover their power.” For Help The National Human Trafficking Hotline is confidential, toll-free, and available 24/7 in more than 200 languages. Call: 1-888-373-7888 Text: “Help” or “Info” to 233733 Chat: humantraffickinghotline.org Tyler Durden Mon, 11/29/2021 - 23:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 30th, 2021

"It"s A Shock": Ghislaine Maxwell Hasn"t Enjoyed Her 17 Month Stay In Jail So Far

"It's A Shock": Ghislaine Maxwell Hasn't Enjoyed Her 17 Month Stay In Jail So Far Ghislaine Maxwell, whose trial is starting this week for allegedly sex trafficking underage girls, has been at Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center for almost 17 months now. And it turns out she isn't really enjoying her stay in the klink, according to new reporting by Bloomberg. Maxwell's lawyers have complained that she is "suffering weight loss, hair loss and failing eyesight because of her time in jail," the report says.  Her lawyers have compared her incarceration to that of “Dr. Hannibal Lecter’s incarceration” as a result of Feds trying to make up for the “incompetence” in handling Jeffrey Epstein's incarceration.  Filings from Maxwell's lawyers have requested items like an eye mask and have alleged "sexually inappropriate" patdowns from guards, the report says. Bloomberg listed all of the assertions Maxwell's lawyers have made, including that she has been: Denied an eye mask to block sleep disturbances Denied access to the prison commissary, for no apparent reason Subjected to regular cell searches and open-mouth inspections Awakened every 15 minutes by night-time flashlight checks Subjected to a jail rife with vermin and exposed to the odor of overflowing toilets Served a moldy salad Shoved into her cell and then forced to scrub it in retaliation for reporting physical abuse “Touched in a sexually inappropriate manner by corrections officers on multiple occasions” during patdowns Threatened by a U.S. marshal, who warned her: “You are not special -- remember, you are in custody and the judge doesn’t care about you” Deprived of a desk or other writing surface for taking notes while reviewing documents Required by Covid protocols to sit across the table from her lawyers rather than next to them where they could use a laptop together Given no access to email and only 30 minutes a month for personal phone calls, while other pretrial detainees got 500 minutes because of pandemic visiting restrictions  The Bureau of Prisons denied comment for Bloomberg's story but had said in the past that it “takes allegations of staff misconduct seriously”. Justin Paperny, a former investment banker at UBS Group AG who served 18 months in prison and now prepares others to do the same, told Bloomberg: “When you’ve had a life of luxury, sycophants around you, enablers, staff, and you flip that script to being in jail, it’s a shock." Maxwell's trial starts this week and we recently reported that the trial will not be livestreamed.  Tyler Durden Mon, 11/29/2021 - 17:20.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 29th, 2021

A President Betrayed by Bureaucrats: Scott Atlas Exposes The Real COVID Disaster

A President Betrayed by Bureaucrats: Scott Atlas Exposes The Real COVID Disaster Authored by Jeffrey Tucker via The Brownstone Institute, I’m a voracious reader of Covid books but nothing could have prepared me for Scott Atlas’s A Plague Upon Our House, a full and mind-blowing account of the famed scientist’s personal experience with the Covid era and a luridly detailed account of his time at the White House. The book is hot fire, from page one to the last, and will permanently affect your view of not only this pandemic and the policy response but also the workings of public health in general.  Atlas’s book has exposed a scandal for the ages. It is enormously valuable because it fully blows up what seems to be an emerging fake story involving a supposedly Covid-denying president who did nothing vs. heroic scientists in the White House who urged compulsory mitigating measures consistent with prevailing scientific opinion. Not one word of that is true. Atlas’s book, I hope, makes it impossible to tell such tall tales without embarrassment.  Anyone who tells you this fictional story (including Deborah Birx) deserves to have this highly credible treatise tossed in his direction. The book is about the war between real science (and genuine public health), with Atlas as the voice for reason both before and during his time in the White House, vs. the enactment of brutal policies that never stood any chance of controlling the virus while causing tremendous damage to the people, to human liberty, to children in particular, but also to billions of people around the world.  For the reader, the author is our proxy, a reasonable and blunt man trapped in a world of lies, duplicity, backstabbing, opportunism, and fake science. He did his best but could not prevail against a powerful machine that cares nothing for facts, much less outcomes.  If you have heretofore believed that science drives pandemic public policy, this book will shock you. Atlas’s recounting of the unbearably poor thinking on the part of government-based “infectious disease experts” will make your jaw drop (thinking, for example, of Birx’s off-the-cuff theorizing about the relationship between masking and controlling case spreads).  Throughout the book, Atlas points to the enormous cost of the machinery of lockdowns, the preferred method of Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx: missed cancer screenings, missed surgeries, nearly two years of educational losses, bankrupted small business, depression and drug overdoses, overall citizen demoralization, violations of religious freedom, all while public health massively neglected the actual at-risk population in long-term care facilities. Essentially, they were willing to dismantle everything we called civilization in the name of bludgeoning one pathogen without regard to the consequences.  The fake science of population-wide “models” drove policy instead of following the known information about risk profiles. “The one unusual feature of this virus was the fact that children had an extraordinarily low risk,” writes Atlas. “Yet this positive and reassuring news was never emphasized. Instead, with total disregard of the evidence of selective risk consistent with other respiratory viruses, public health officials recommended draconian isolation of everyone.” “Restrictions on liberty were also destructive by inflaming class distinctions with their differential impact,” he writes, “exposing essential workers, sacrificing low-income families and kids, destroying single-parent homes, and eviscerating small businesses, while at the same time large companies were bailed out, elites worked from home with barely an interruption, and the ultra-rich got richer, leveraging their bully pulpit to demonize and cancel those who challenged their preferred policy options.” In the midst of continued chaos, in August 2020, Atlas was called by Trump to help, not as a political appointee, not as a PR man for Trump, not as a DC fixer but as the only person who in nearly a year of unfolding catastrophe had a health-policy focus. He made it clear from the outset that he would only say what he believed to be true; Trump agreed that this was precisely what he wanted and needed. Trump got an earful and gradually came around to a more rational view than that which caused him to wreck the American economy and society with his own hands and against his own instincts.  In Task Force meetings, Atlas was the only person who showed up with studies and on-the-ground information as opposed to mere charts of infections easily downloadable from popular websites. “A bigger surprise was that Fauci did not present scientific research on the pandemic to the group that I witnessed. Likewise, I never heard him speak about his own critical analysis of any published research studies. This was stunning to me. Aside from intermittent status updates about clinical trial enrollments, Fauci served the Task Force by offering an occasional comment or update on vaccine trial participant totals, mostly when the VP would turn to him and ask.” When Atlas spoke up, it was almost always to contradict Fauci/Birx but he received no backing during meetings, only to have many people in attendance later congratulate him for speaking out. Still, he did, by virtue of private meetings, have a convert in Trump himself, but by then it was too late: not even Trump could prevail against the wicked machine he had permissioned into operation.  It’s a Mr. Smith Goes to Washington story but applied to matters of public health. From the outset of this disease panic, policy came to be dictated by two government bureaucrats (Fauci and Birx) who, for some reason, were confident in their control over media, bureaucracies, and White House messaging, despite every attempt by the president, Atlas, and a few others to get them to pay attention to the actual science about which Fauci/Birx knew and care little.  When Atlas would raise doubts about Birx, Jared Kushner would repeatedly assure him that “she is 100% MAGA.” Yet we know for certain that this is not true. We know from a different book on the subject that she only took the position with the anticipation that Trump would lose the presidency in the November election. That’s hardly a surprise; it’s the bias expected from a career bureaucrat working for a deep-state institution. Fortunately, we now have this book to set the record straight. It gives every reader an inside look at the workings of a system that wrecked our lives. If the book finally declines to offer an explanation for the hell that was visited upon us – every day we still ask the question why? – it does provide an accounting of the who, when, where, and what. Tragically, too many scientists, media figures, and intellectuals in general went along. Atlas’s account shows exactly what they signed up to defend, and it’s not pretty.  The cliche that kept coming to mind as I read is “breath of fresh air.” That metaphor describes the book perfectly: blessed relief from relentless propaganda. Imagine yourself trapped in an elevator with stultifying air in a building that is on fire and the smoke gradually seeps in from above. Someone is in there with you and he keeps assuring you that everything is fine, when it is obviously not.  That’s a pretty good description of how I felt from March 12, 2020 and onward. That was the day that President Trump spoke to the nation and announced that there would be no more travel from Europe. The tone in his voice was spooky. It was obvious that more was coming. He had clearly fallen sway to extremely bad advice, perhaps he was willing to push lockdowns as a plan to deal with a respiratory virus that was already widespread in the US from perhaps 5 to 6 months earlier.  It was the day that the darkness descended. A day later (March 13), the HHS distributed its lockdown plans for the nation. That weekend, Trump met for many hours with Anthony Fauci, Deborah Birx, son-in-law Jared Kushner, and only a few others. He came around to the idea of shutting down the American economy for two weeks. He presided over the calamitous March 16, 2020, press conference, at which Trump promised to beat the virus through general lockdowns.  Of course he had no power to do that directly but he could urge it to happen, all under the completely delusional promise that doing so would solve the virus problem. Two weeks later, the same gang persuaded him to extend the lockdowns.  Trump went along with the advice because it was the only advice he was fed at the time. They made it appear that the only choice that Trump had – if he wanted to beat the virus – was to wage war on his own policies that were pushing for a stronger, healthier economy. After surviving two impeachment attempts, and beating back years of hate from a nearly united media afflicted by severe derangement syndrome, Trump was finally hornswoggled.  Atlas writes: “On this highly important criterion of presidential management—taking responsibility to fully take charge of policy coming from the White House—I believe the president made a massive error in judgment. Against his own gut feeling, he delegated authority to medical bureaucrats, and then he failed to correct that mistake.” The truly tragic fact that both Republicans and Democrats do not want spoken about is that this whole calamity is that did indeed begin with Trump’s decision. On this point, Atlas writes: Yes, the president initially had gone along with the lockdowns proposed by Fauci and Birx, the “fifteen days to slow the spread,” even though he had serious misgivings. But I still believe the reason that he kept repeating his one question—“Do you agree with the initial shutdown?”—whenever he asked questions about the pandemic was precisely because he still had misgivings about it. Large parts of the narrative are devoted to explaining precisely how and to what extent Trump had been betrayed. “They had convinced him to do exactly the opposite of what he would naturally do in any other circumstance,” Atlas writes, that is  “to disregard his own common sense and allow grossly incorrect policy advice to prevail…. This president, widely known for his signature “You’re fired!” declaration, was misled by his closest political intimates. All for fear of what was inevitable anyway—skewering from an already hostile media. And on top of that tragic misjudgment, the election was lost anyway. So much for political strategists.” There are so many valuable parts to the story that I cannot possibly recount them all. The language is brilliant, e.g. he calls the media “the most despicable group of unprincipled liars one could ever imagine.” He proves that assertion in page after page of shocking lies and distortions, mostly driven by political goals.  I was particularly struck by his chapter on testing, mainly because that whole racket mystified me throughout. From the outset, the CDC bungled the testing part of the pandemic story, attempting to keep the tests and process centralized in DC at the very time when the entire nation was in panic. Once that was finally fixed, months too late, mass and indiscriminate PCR testing became the desiderata of success within the White House. The problem was not just with the testing method: “Fragments of dead virus hang around and can generate a positive test for many weeks or months, even though one is not generally contagious after two weeks. Moreover, PCR is extremely sensitive. It detects minute quantities of virus that do not transmit infection…. Even the New York Times wrote in August that 90 percent or more of positive PCR tests falsely implied that someone was contagious. Sadly, during my entire time at the White House, this crucial fact would never even be addressed by anyone other than me at the Task Force meetings, let alone because for any public recommendation, even after I distributed data proving this critical point.” The other problem is the wide assumption that more testing (however inaccurate) of whomever, whenever was always better. This model of maximizing tests seemed like a leftover from the HIV/AIDS crisis in which tracing was mostly useless in practice but at least made some sense in theory. For a widespread and mostly wild respiratory disease transmitted the way a cold virus is transmitted, this method was hopeless from the beginning. It became nothing but make work for tracing bureaucrats and testing enterprises that in the end only provided a fake metric of “success” that served to spread public panic.  Early on, Fauci had clearly said that there was no reason to get tested if you had no symptoms. Later, that common-sense outlook was thrown out the window and replaced with an agenda to test as many people as possible regardless of risk and regardless of symptoms. The resulting data enabled Fauci/Birx to keep everyone in a constant state of alarm. More test positivity to them implied only one thing: more lockdowns. Businesses needed to close harder, we all needed to mask harder, schools needed to stay closed longer, and travel needed to be ever more restricted. That assumption became so entrenched that not even the president’s own wishes (which had changed from Spring to Summer) made any difference.  Atlas’s first job, then, was to challenge this whole indiscriminate testing agenda. To his mind, testing needed to be about more than accumulating endless amounts of data, much of it without meaning; instead, testing should be directed toward a public-health goal. The people who needed tests were the vulnerable populations, particularly those in nursing homes, with the goal of saving lives among those who were actually threatened with severe outcomes. This push to test, contact trace, and quarantine anyone and everyone regardless of known risk was a huge distraction, and also caused huge disruption in schooling and enterprise.  To fix it meant changing the CDC guidelines. Atlas’s story of attempting to do that is eye-opening. He wrestled with every manner of bureaucrat and managed to get new guidelines written, only to find that they had been mysteriously reverted to the old guidelines one week later. He caught the “error” and insisted that his version prevail. Once they were issued by the CDC, the national press was all over it, with the story that the White House was pressuring the scientists at the CDC in terrible ways. After a week-long media storm, the guidelines changed yet again. All of Atlas’s work was made null.  Talk about discouraging! It was also Atlas’s first full experience in dealing with deep-state machinations. It was this way throughout the lockdown period, a machinery in place to implement, encourage, and enforce endless restrictions but no one person in particular was there to take responsibility for the policies or the outcomes, even as the ostensible head of state (Trump) was on record both publicly and privately opposing the policies that no one could seem to stop.  As an example of this, Atlas tells the story of bringing some massively important scientists to the White House to speak with Trump: Martin Kulldorff, Jay Bhattacharya, Joseph Ladapo, and Cody Meissner. People around the president thought the idea was great. But somehow the meeting kept being delayed. Again and again. When it finally went ahead, the schedulers only allowed for 5 minutes. But once they met with Trump himself, the president had other ideas and prolonged the meeting for an hour and a half, asking the scientists all kinds of questions about viruses, policy, the initial lockdowns, the risks to individuals, and so on.  The president was so impressed with their views and knowledge – what a dramatic change that must have been for him – that he invited filming to be done plus pictures to be taken. He wanted to make it a big public splash. It never happened. Literally. White House press somehow got the message that this meeting never happened. The first anyone will have known about it other than White House employees is from Atlas’s book.  Two months later, Atlas was instrumental in bringing in not only two of those scientists but also the famed Sunetra Gupta of Oxford. They met with the HHS secretary but this meeting too was buried in the press. No dissent was allowed. The bureaucrats were in charge, regardless of the wishes of the president.  Another case in point was during Trump’s own bout with Covid in early October. Atlas was nearly sure that he would be fine but he was forbidden from talking to the press. The entire White House communications office was frozen for four days, with no one speaking to the press. This was against Trump’s own wishes. This left the media to speculate that he was on his deathbed, so when he came back to the White House and announced that Covid is not to be feared, it was a shock to the nation. From my own point of view, this was truly Trump’s finest moment. To learn of the internal machinations happening behind the scenes is pretty shocking.  I can’t possibly cover the wealth of material in this book, and I expect this brief review to be one of several that I write. I do have a few disagreements. First, I think the author is too uncritical toward Operation Warp Speed and doesn’t really address how the vaccines were wildly oversold, to say nothing of growing concerns about safety, which were not addressed in the trials. Second, he seems to approve of Trump’s March 12th travel restrictions, which struck me as brutal and pointless, and the real beginning of the unfolding disaster. Third, Atlas inadvertently seems to perpetuate the distortion that Trump recommended ingesting bleach during a press conference. I know that this was all over the papers. But I’ve read the transcript of that press conference several times and find nothing like this. Trump actually makes clear that he was speaking about cleaning surfaces. This might be yet another case of outright media lies.  All that aside, this book reveals everything about the insanity of 2020 and 2021, years in which good sense, good science, historical precedent, human rights, and concerns for human liberty were all thrown into the trash, not just in the US but all over the world. Atlas summarizes the big picture: “in considering all the surprising events that unfolded in this past year, two in particular stand out. I have been shocked at the enormous power of government officials to unilaterally decree a sudden and severe shutdown of society—to simply close businesses and schools by edict, restrict personal movements, mandate behavior, regulate interactions with our family members, and eliminate our most basic freedoms, without any defined end and with little accountability.” Atlas is correct that “the management of this pandemic has left a stain on many of America’s once noble institutions, including our elite universities, research institutes and journals, and public health agencies. Earning it back will not be easy.”  Internationally, we have Sweden as an example of a country that (mostly) kept its sanity. Domestically, we have South Dakota as an example of a place that stayed open, preserving freedom throughout. And thanks in large part to Atlas’s behind-the-scenes work, we have the example of Florida, whose governor did care about the actual science and ended up preserving freedom in the state even as the elderly population there experienced the greatest possible protection from the virus.  We all owe Atlas an enormous debt of gratitude, for it was he who persuaded the Florida governor to choose the path of focussed protection as advocated by the Great Barrington Declaration, which Atlas cites as the “single document that will go down as one of the most important publications in the pandemic, as it lent undeniable credibility to focused protection and provided courage to thousands of additional medical scientists and public health leaders to come forward.” Atlas experienced the slings, arrows, and worse. The media and the bureaucrats tried to shut him up, shut him down, and body bag him professionally and personally. Cancelled, meaning removed from the roster of functional, dignified human beings. Even colleagues at Stanford University joined in the lynch mob, much to their disgrace. And yet this book is that of a man who has prevailed against them. In that sense, this book is easily the most crucial first-person account we have so far. It is gripping, revealing, devastating for the lockdowners and their vaccine-mandating successors, and a true classic that will stand the test of time. It’s simply not possible to write the history of this disaster without a close examination of this erudite first-hand account.  Tyler Durden Sun, 11/28/2021 - 12:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 28th, 2021

The Metaverse Is A Scam: We"re Being Herded Into The Matrix

The Metaverse Is A Scam: We're Being Herded Into The Matrix By Mark Jeftovic of Bombthrower.com, How do they get our souls? Soul traps. The lures are the lusts and hungers of this life. The [soul], exploring the newfound freedom of the energetic world, finds himself able to visit his friends and enemies, to see their innermost being and thoughts, even to converse with them in ways that their elemental selves cannot perceive. He is in danger, but he does not know it, for he has not ascended. He is still ensnared by his lust. Soon he will be shown something that perfectly fulfills his most en and cherished desires, desires he has never fulfilled. Unable to resist the chance to do it at last, he enters by a golden door into eternal captivity. The passage is from Whitley Strieber’s “The Key”, a purportedly true account as related by Streiber of an encounter with a mysterious humanoid being who simply knocked on the door of his Toronto hotel room at 3am on June 6, 1998, entered his suite and told him about mankind’s place in the cosmos and his inescapable fate. Strieber’s account may be a synthesis: partly “true” (in that he believes it occurred as he relates it), part visioning, part somnambulistic dream state. Whatever emanates from the mind of Whitley Strieber, it originates from some realm outside of our Cartesian,  materialist notion of consensus reality. He reminds me of that other prophetic visionary of yesteryear: Rudolf Steiner, whom as I wrote previously, spent much of his life in a hypnogognic state, possibly without even realizing it. Steiner and Strieber. Odd that. They are both talking about the same thing. The idea that the souls of humanity could be captured in a technological machine, where they would wander forever, believing they have omniscience, even Godhood. “At that point the longevity of one’s mind file will not depend on the continued viability of any particular hardware medium (for example, the survival of a biological body and brain). Ultimately software-based humans will be vastly extended  beyond the severe limitations of humans as we know them today. They will live out on the Web, projecting bodies whenever they need or want them, including virtual bodies, foglet projected bodies, and physical bodies comprising nanobot swarms and other forms of nanotechnology”. — Ray Kurzweil, Director of Engineering @ Google and author of The Singularity is Near. Steiner called it The Eighth Sphere and warned that sometime in the late 20th century, Arhiman would incarnate in the west and drive a global process of harvesting human souls into it. The zeitgeist of radical material reductionism would dampen, deaden and dumb down humanity to its coarsest, most basic layers: meat. Our minds, what we think is our own consciousness, our souls, self-awareness even our freewill, it’s all just an illusion. Our experts say. It’s just something that happens when our brains gas off certain neurochemicals. However… We can take that illusion, what we call our consciousness, and pretty soon now (just as soon as The Singularity happens), we’ll be able to upload that illusion “into the cloud”, into The Metaverse and we’ll be able to experience anything we want, for as long as we want, forever. Who is the incarnation of Arhiman? Zuckerberg with his Metaverse ticks the boxes… This isn’t some phantasmagorical utopian afterlife promised by Bible-banging evangelists or bomb-toting Jihadists – this is serious Scientism. Ray Kurzweil, Elon Musk, even Jeffrey Epstein were espousing that the era of Tranhumanism was arriving. We are on the cusp of becoming Post-Biological, and when that happens, all our problems will be solved. “We will spend increasing portions of our time in virtual environments and will be able to have any type of desired experience with anyone, real or simulated, in virtual reality…. Lingering problems from our waning industrial age will be overcome”— Ray Kurzweil People worry that only the rich will have access to the trappings of emergent technologies, and the masses will be left out in the cold… That isn’t what’s happening here What’s happening is we’re being herded into The Matrix. As I’ve written previously, in The Crypto Capitalist Manifesto, and here, that the core rationalization of the “You’ll Own Nothing And Be Happy” Great Narrative (as it is now being called) is that the rabble has to ratchet down its standard of living. The reason why isn’t about climate change or COVID. It’s because we’re in late stage Globalism and the world’s financial and economic system is on the verge of imploding. The people in charge, the people who’ve been doubling down on failed policies for decades, the people who brought us here with Quantitative Easing, ZIRP/NIRP, debt, Big Government and The Forever Wars, they want to stay in charge. So they’re going to use COVID, Climate, Collectivism and Wokeness to herd the knuckle-dragging plebians into The Metaverse. That way they’ll be easier to control, they’ll be placated, and they won’t take up so much space in the real world. In the real world, the insular, inbred elites will be zipping around in their private jets. They’ll be reimagining everybody else’s lives. Deciding how much “real world time” and resources to apportion to the rabble. Uploading intellectual Muzak directly into their brains telling them that it’s all for their own good. There’s only one problem This would all be well and good, in fact large swaths of the masses may even prefer a synthetic life in The Metaverse than having to deal with the vicissitudes and tribulations of reality. However, the very construct of a Metaverse, one where: The straightfoward brain-porting scenario involves scanning a human brain (most likely from within), capturing all of the salient details, and reinstantiating the brain’s state in a different — most likely much more powerful — computational substrate. This will be a feasible procedure and will happen most likely around the late 2030’s” — The Singularity is Near The Algorithmic Imitation (“AI”) that would be required to facilitate this and have it operate along the lines proselytized by the Kurzweil’s et al is not attainable. The reason it isn’t attainable is because of the internal contradictions of what I call “techno-utopianism”. Two of those contradictions are these: Firstly: If the mind is a byproduct of physical processes then consciousness is really an illusion and free-will doesn’t actually exist, because all phenomenon are simply linear outcomes of biochemistry and physics. If so then there is nothing to upload into the cloud. Nor is there any real point in doing so. If we really do live in a billiard ball universe, who cares if we can make a shot last forever? There is nobody to care and nothing to care about. More importantly, “AI” at the level pontificated to solve all our problems, “by late in this century nonbiological intelligence on the Earth will be many trillions of times more powerful than biological intelligence” (Kurzweil, of course) is not attainable because our conception of what causes mind and thus intelligence is completely inverted. Mind, consciousness and intelligence will never emerge from material reality because it’s the other way around. Belief that mind emerges from matter is this era’s geocentrism. As was the case with the now antiquated idea that the Earth was the center of the universe. The heliocentric cosmos was probably understood by certain civilizations thousands of years before Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake for saying as much in the 17th century. So too, did the ancients understand that “All is mental”. The universe is vibration, probability, information, energy and conciousness first. Out of that comes what we recognize as sub-atomic particles and atoms. The quantum physicists reconnected with this truth about a century ago, the rest of society, including the priests of the Temple of Scientism and Expert Management haven’t gotten the memo, yet. If they did, they wouldn’t be trying to shoehorn our minds into a computer. They’d be trying to build computers that tap into the conscious base layer of quantum reality (note, this is not to be confused with what so-called ‘Quantum Computing’ endeavours to do). Because of this, everything premised upon the idea of super-intelligent, top down, centralized control of the affairs of humanity, of the economy, of The Great Reset, The Great Narrative and The New Normal, all of it is doomed to failure. It simply won’t work. The problem, however, is that in betting the farm on having an expert class of managers deploying super-intelligent AI’s to solve all of our problems, manage the rabble and control all the outcomes, means we’re headed for a Tower of Babel 2.0 moment. More on that in the next edition. In the meantime, if you’re a plebeian, the work of the day is The Great Opt-Out, a Great Reject. Decentralize your affairs.  Take sovereignty over your own life and your own economics. Link up with others doing the same. The counter-revolutionary impulse against late stage Globalism is, in addition to spirituality, meditation and contemplative practices, embracing decentralization and public key cryptography. I cover macro tensions between Late Stage Globalism and the rise of the sovereign-individual extensively in The Crypto Capitalist Letter, along with a tactical focus on publicly traded crypto stocks. Get the overall investment / macro thesis free when you subscribe to the Bombthrower mailing list, or try the premium service for a month with our fully refundable trial offer. Tyler Durden Fri, 11/26/2021 - 13:25.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 26th, 2021

Wall Street Tumbles on Resurgence of Coronavirus

Wall Street Tumbles on Resurgence of Coronavirus. A new, highly infectious variant of the Covid-19 coronavirus has been discovered in South Africa, and cases are already showing up in places as far away as Israel. With a reproduction level of 2 (anything above 1 represents exponential epidemic capacity), this new strain — currently called B.1.1.529 — threatens the global marketplace anew, just as economic conditions around the world were beginning to get their footing following the Delta-variant fallout.Countries from Japan to England and half a dozen others are now banning flights from South Africa and surrounding regions, in hopes to keep most of this new variant localized, but this is an all-hands-on-deck moment for the global market, and indexes here in the U.S. are reacting accordingly: the Dow is -800 points at this hour, the S&P 500 is -80 and the Nasdaq is -150 points right now.The sell-off goes beyond equities, as well. Crude oil is -6% on the WTI and Brent, and cryptocurrencies are currently down double-digits. Among stocks, those recently striding forward on reopening news are being hit the hardest: Norwegian Cruise Lines NCLH is -10% at this time, TripAdvisor TRIP is -9% and United Airlines UAL is -8%. Those companies that most benefited during pandemic conditions are ramping back up: Zoom Video ZM is +10% and Peloton PTON is +7%.The Covid vaccine pharma companies are already at work on this, with Moderna MRNA CEO Stephane Bancel saying his company could have a new vaccine trial up in two months, with a few months for manufacturing added on, depending on the results. BioNTech BNTX, the biotech firm responsible for the Pfizer PFE-credited vaccine, said they’ll be testing drugs in the next two weeks and would expect six weeks on trial and production.Most worrying here is that the breakout in South Africa is among a population normally considered safely immunized from Covid (through previous contact with the coronavirus more than high vaccination rates), meaning this highly mutated variant may prove stronger than what we’ve seen in the Delta variant, where vaccinations and therapeutics have proven effective against its spread and hospitalizations from the disease. For the market, it hates uncertainty. We are currently in a state of high uncertainty regarding this new variant, other than it looks very bad.As we find out more regarding the spread of the new variant and the effectiveness of existing vaccines and therapeutics on it, markets will likely remain suppressed. Some, as we see, are chasing the “stay at home” stocks once again, but much of this activity may be in order to counter highly leveraged positions currently existing in investors’ portfolios. For now, we advise holding tight and keeping eyes and ears open to reputable news reporting. The stock market closes at 1pm ET today, as already scheduled for “Black Friday” and Thanksgiving Weekend. Bitcoin, Like the Internet Itself, Could Change Everything Blockchain and cryptocurrency has sparked one of the most exciting discussion topics of a generation. Some call it the “Internet of Money” and predict it could change the way money works forever. If true, it could do to banks what Netflix did to Blockbuster and Amazon did to Sears. Experts agree we’re still in the early stages of this technology, and as it grows, it will create several investing opportunities. Zacks’ has just revealed 3 companies that can help investors capitalize on the explosive profit potential of Bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies with significantly less volatility than buying them directly. See 3 crypto-related stocks now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Pfizer Inc. (PFE): Free Stock Analysis Report Under Armour, Inc. (UA): Free Stock Analysis Report Moderna, Inc. (MRNA): Free Stock Analysis Report TripAdvisor, Inc. (TRIP): Free Stock Analysis Report Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NCLH): Free Stock Analysis Report Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (ZM): Free Stock Analysis Report Peloton Interactive, Inc. (PTON): Free Stock Analysis Report BioNTech SE Sponsored ADR (BNTX): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksNov 26th, 2021

Black Friday Meets "Black Friday:" New Covid Variant Hits Markets

A new Covid strain threatens the global marketplace anew, just as economic conditions around the world were beginning to get their footing following the Delta-variant fallout. Friday, November 26, 2021A new, highly infectious variant of the Covid-19 coronavirus has been discovered in South Africa, and cases are already showing up in places as far away as Israel. With a reproduction level of 2 (anything above 1 represents exponential epidemic capacity), this new strain — currently called B.1.1.529 — threatens the global marketplace anew, just as economic conditions around the world were beginning to get their footing following the Delta-variant fallout.Countries from Japan to England and half a dozen others are now banning flights from South Africa and surrounding regions, in hopes to keep most of this new variant localized, but this is an all-hands-on-deck moment for the global market, and indexes here in the U.S. are reacting accordingly: the Dow is -800 points at this hour, the S&P 500 is -80 and the Nasdaq is -150 points right now.The sell-off goes beyond equities, as well. Crude oil is -6% on the WTI and Brent, and cryptocurrencies are currently down double-digits. Among stocks, those recently striding forward on reopening news are being hit the hardest: Norwegian Cruise Lines NCLH is -10% at this time, TripAdvisor TRIP is -9% and United Airlines UAL is -8%. Those companies that most benefited during pandemic conditions are ramping back up: Zoom Video ZM is +10% and Peloton PTON is +7%.The Covid vaccine pharma companies are already at work on this, with Moderna MRNA CEO Stephane Bancel saying his company could have a new vaccine trial up in two months, with a few months for manufacturing added on, depending on the results. BioNTech BNTX, the biotech firm responsible for the Pfizer PFE-credited vaccine, said they’ll be testing drugs in the next two weeks and would expect six weeks on trial and production.Most worrying here is that the breakout in South Africa is among a population normally considered safely immunized from Covid (through previous contact with the coronavirus more than high vaccination rates), meaning this highly mutated variant may prove stronger than what we’ve seen in the Delta variant, where vaccinations and therapeutics have proven effective against its spread and hospitalizations from the disease. For the market, it hates uncertainty. We are currently in a state of high uncertainty regarding this new variant, other than it looks very bad.As we find out more regarding the spread of the new variant and the effectiveness of existing vaccines and therapeutics on it, markets will likely remain suppressed. Some, as we see, are chasing the “stay at home” stocks once again, but much of this activity may be in order to counter highly leveraged positions currently existing in investors’ portfolios. For now, we advise holding tight and keeping eyes and ears open to reputable news reporting. The stock market closes at 1pm ET today, as already scheduled for “Black Friday” and Thanksgiving Weekend.Questions or comments about this article and/or its author? Click here>> Bitcoin, Like the Internet Itself, Could Change Everything Blockchain and cryptocurrency has sparked one of the most exciting discussion topics of a generation. Some call it the “Internet of Money” and predict it could change the way money works forever. If true, it could do to banks what Netflix did to Blockbuster and Amazon did to Sears. Experts agree we’re still in the early stages of this technology, and as it grows, it will create several investing opportunities. Zacks’ has just revealed 3 companies that can help investors capitalize on the explosive profit potential of Bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies with significantly less volatility than buying them directly. See 3 crypto-related stocks now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Pfizer Inc. (PFE): Free Stock Analysis Report United Airlines Holdings Inc (UAL): Free Stock Analysis Report Moderna, Inc. (MRNA): Free Stock Analysis Report TripAdvisor, Inc. (TRIP): Free Stock Analysis Report Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NCLH): Free Stock Analysis Report Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (ZM): Free Stock Analysis Report Peloton Interactive, Inc. (PTON): Free Stock Analysis Report BioNTech SE Sponsored ADR (BNTX): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksNov 26th, 2021

Why The Border Is Such A Problem For Biden... And America

Why The Border Is Such A Problem For Biden... And America Authored by Charles Lipson via RealClearPolitics.com, The Biden administration is drowning on issue after issue, and many of the bubbles are coming from the Rio Grande River. The problem, which dare not speak its name, is illegal immigration. The administration, its political party, and the mainstream media refuse to say the very word “illegal.” For a while, they called it “undocumented,” pretending the migrants somehow forgot their papers in the top dresser drawer in Guatemala or Haiti. Now, even that bland phrase is deemed too clear and honest. The new woke term is “irregular immigration.” Anything to minimize the problem, sway public opinion, and avoid plain talk. The obfuscation goes much further than a few phrases. Consider Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas’ testimony to Congress last week, where he faced awkward questions about the administration’s decision to stop building the border wall, including portions that had already been contracted and paid for. Mayorkas’ reply, “We are not going to construct a border wall along the ragged and jagged cliffs along certain parts of the border." He was addressing a fake issue, answering a question that had not been asked so he could avoid answering the one that actually had been. His misdirection was intentional. Even hardline Republicans agree that a wall is not needed for remote, rugged areas. High-tech solutions work well there and cost less. It’s true that Donald Trump once proposed a wall along the entire border. It’s also true that he abandoned that idea long ago. No one is proposing it now. What Mayorkas was asked was why the administration had stopped building the wall in flat, accessible areas where hundreds of thousands of people have been streaming across. He had no answer. So he spewed more bubbles from a drowning administration. Mayorkas’ performance illustrates George Orwell’s observations in what is perhaps the best essay ever written about politics and the English language. “In our time,” he asserted, “political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible.” What Orwell wrote in 1946 is still true. Some political acts are “too brutal for most people to face, and ... do not square with the professed aims of political parties. Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness.” Watching its policies fail catastrophically on the U.S.-Mexican border has not nudged the Biden administration into discussing this issue forthrightly. The public isn’t buying either the gobbledygook or the policies. In the latest Rasmussen survey, 57% of likely voters say the government is doing too little to reduce illegal border crossings and visitor overstays. Only 20% rate the level of government action as about right; 65% of independent voters say the government is doing too little. Why are the poll numbers so stark? The two most compelling reasons are that illegal border crossings have reached record numbers and the public believes that conditions won’t improve without major policy changes. They’re right. According to official data, first obtained by the Washington Post, “U.S. authorities detained more than 1.7 million migrants along the Mexico border during the 2021 fiscal year that ended in September, and arrests by the Border Patrol soared to the highest levels ever recorded.” In October alone, the Border Patrol apprehended over 160,000 people, more than double the number for the previous year and larger than the population of Syracuse, N.Y. That’s in one month. And they keep coming. Third, the public fears this surge of illegal migration will harm communities far beyond the Texas border, both because the administration is secretly transferring migrants and because drug cartels are using the open border to transport massive quantities of opioids, heroin, and fake pharmaceuticals. The administration keeps repeating, “The border is closed,” but the cartels, coyotes, and caravans know better. Fourth, voters can see the Biden administration has no answers. None. Even worse for Democrats, the best answers are those pursued by his predecessor — the ones Biden junked as soon as he took office. The administration cannot restore those policies without admitting error. To do so would say, in effect, that President Trump’s harsh approach worked better. That would be intolerable to the party’s left wing and many in the center. Instead of proposing practical solutions, the administration floated the quixotic idea of fixing the “root causes of emigration” in Central America and the Caribbean. That’s an elusive goal at best, and, in any case, would not help the U.S. for years. It’s hand waving, not serious policy. Since Kamala Harris was handed responsibility for this latest initiative, it’s tempting to blame her. But the failure is not hers. It’s Biden’s. The White House sent her on a fool’s errand. Washington simply doesn’t have the tools needed to reverse the region’s endemic poverty, danger, and corruption. Nor does it have a track record of solving these problems, despite decades of effort. It’s hard to imagine the administration could come up with worse policies, but it is trying. The administration’s latest brainchild is to pay massive sums to every family of illegal immigrants separated at the border during the last administration. (They were given the opportunity to return home together but declined.) The idea is so unpopular the White House refuses to defend it at press briefings. So does Mayorkas. All of them say, “Talk to the Department of Justice.” The DoJ’s lips are sealed. Finally, the public is starting to connect rampant lawlessness on the southern border with rampant lawlessness in American cities. After all, Democrats control both and defend their policies on the same specious grounds: social justice. Criminals find this new terrain inviting. They have dramatically increased shoplifting, carjacking, armed robberies, and murder. Police see the same pattern. When they see mayors refusing to support them and prosecutors refusing to do their jobs, cops on the beat won’t do theirs, either. Why risk your life and career to arrest someone who won’t face serious jail time? Why chase criminals down mean streets when it’s safer to stay in your patrol car? Voters are troubled by these failures and are deeply unhappy with the officials responsible for them. That’s the message from recent elections in New York City, Buffalo, Minneapolis, Virginia, New Jersey, and now Columbia, S.C., where a Democrat lost the mayoralty only a year after Biden carried the city by 40 points. The theme here is the same one heard in the movie “Network”: People are “mad as hell and they’re not going to take it anymore.” That’s also the message from the latest poll by YouGov and The Economist, which shows only 27% of Americans think the country is headed in the right direction. Illegal immigration is a big part of that “wrong direction,” along with inflation and COVID. The public’s frustration is understandable. Citizens, to use another verboten concept, want to see basic laws enforced and social order restored. Those aren’t unreasonable demands; they are the most basic responsibilities of government. Before Washington takes on even more responsibilities and piles on more taxes to pay for them, as Biden proposes with his social-spending bill, they want it to perform the tasks it already has. Law-abiding citizens — whatever their race, whatever their income — want to go about their lives in peace. They want criminals caught and punished so others will be deterred. They want public servants who understand that responsibility and do their jobs. That’s what Americans are saying in poll after poll, vote after vote. They have soundly rejected candidates who justify the chaos in the name of social justice and racial equity. They want is better policing, without prejudice  and without excessive force. They don’t want defunding and dismantling. Their demands are reasonable and realistic. Meeting them is essential for a stable democracy. Politicians ignore them at their peril. Tyler Durden Thu, 11/25/2021 - 22:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 25th, 2021

What Americans Say About Rising Prices This Thanksgiving

What Americans Say About Rising Prices This Thanksgiving By Cara Ding, Steven Kovac, Jackson Elliott, Michael Sakal, Allan Stein and Jannis Falkenstern of Epoch Times On the verge of celebrating Thanksgiving with her family, Melissa Ngo wasn’t happy after her grocery shopping trip. The high price of gasoline has cut into her family’s budget for everything, she said. She’s now having to shop at three different grocery stores—Giant Eagle, Marc’s, and Aldi—to find the lowest prices. “It’s everything,” said Ngo, a resident of Lakewood, Ohio, whose husband works as a dye-maker in Cleveland. “Everything has gone up, not just gas. The main thing I’ve noticed at the grocery store that has gone up in price [is] U.S. meat. It’s about double from last year. “We’re a one-worker family, and we’re always having to juggle. Now, we’re juggling more.” She blames the situation Americans have been facing for more than a year on such things as the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic, supply chain issues, and even the president she voted for.  Melissa Ngo, of Lakewood, Ohio, loads groceries into her car at the Giant Eagle grocery store in Lakewood on Nov. 23, 2021. Ngo said she’s paying nearly double for everything compared to 2020, especially meat. She and her husband are on a much tighter budget and “always juggling” to make things work on the home front. (Michael Sakal/The Epoch Times) As a resident of the west Cleveland suburb and Democratic stronghold, Ngo is quick to admit that she’s sorry she voted for President Joe Biden in the 2020 election. She usually votes Democrat. She said she may not vote in the next election. For Allen van Houten and Kathy Ellison of Lakewood, things have always been tight. Going into the 2021 holiday season, their budget is tighter still. Kathy Ellison and Allen Van Houten of Lakewood load up their car with groceries at the Giant Eagle grocery store in Lakewood on Nov. 23, 2021. (Michael Sakal/The Epoch Times) Van Houten, an Army and Navy veteran on disability, and Ellison, who works as a cook at a local restaurant, had just finished shopping at the Giant Eagle. Because of the skyrocketing price of gasoline and the higher food prices, they hardly go “anywhere” anymore, they said. They’re doing without as they prepare to spend Thanksgiving together. “We’re penny-pinching a lot more from last year,” Ellison said. “Now, we’re always penny-pinching. “Working a 40-hour workweek doesn’t keep your head above water anymore. Everything has gotten higher in price—food, gas, and utilities. And it’s not getting any better.” Van Houten noted that the couple have been depending on each other to get through such a difficult time. “If we didn’t have each other, we couldn’t survive,” he said. In addition to purchasing a smaller turkey this year, they’ve eliminated deviled eggs and potatoes from their Thanksgiving meal. “We’re going to three different grocery stores because we’re having trouble finding stuff,” Ellison told The Epoch Times. “We’re looking at pies at Giant Eagle that used to be on sale for $3.99. Now, they’re $5.99. We’d like to get a Dutch Apple pie, but those are $13.99. Sometimes, the supplier takes advantage of these situations, too.” The couple blames the situation on the high prices of gas and food, the workforce shortage, and the government. Van Houten and Ellison said they don’t vote. “The government is going to do whatever they want anyway,” Van Houten said. Kathy, also of Lakewood, who didn’t want to give her last name, was more sympathetic toward those facing hard times going into Thanksgiving. She had just loaded a cart full of groceries into her car outside of the Giant Eagle. Although she has seen at least a 20-percent increase in her grocery bill from 2020, she said her family won’t have to cut back. “We’ve been lucky. We’ve been blessed and have been able to work and stay comfortable through all of this,” Kathy told The Epoch Times. Although she said she’s happy with Biden, since she “didn’t like Donald Trump,” she noted that she feels as though the president could be doing more to help ease the situation. “I’m not happy with everything Joe Biden has done,” Kathy said. “The U.S. is not tapping into its resources, and we’re having to rely on foreign countries too much for certain goods. “I don’t want to have to pay more for everything. Our salaries are not commensurate with inflation. With all the high prices, it does make me and my husband want to give more to charity to help others who are struggling.”  Click on image to enlarge. (Illustration by The Epoch Times) In Florida, two large grocery chains—Publix and Winn-Dixie—are limiting certain holiday foods during Thanksgiving week. Publix Director of Communications Maria Brous released a statement saying that “caps” are being placed on certain food items because of “supply chain issues” and increased demand. Last week, the Lakeland company, which has 1,280 stores across the southeastern United States, placed the restrictions in anticipation of the demand and supply chain crisis, according to Brous. Another grocery outlet, Winn-Dixie, has placed a cap of one turkey per customer. Southeastern Grocers, a Jacksonville, Florida, company, owns Winn-Dixie, as well as Fresco y Mas and Harveys Supermarket. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis weighed in on the rising cost of food and said he’s concerned about “inflationary pressures,” for which he blames the Biden administration. “Inflation that you’re seeing—the White House said it wasn’t real. It’s real,” DeSantis said on Nov. 22. “This is going to be the most expensive Thanksgiving we’ve seen in quite some time. Prices have increased by 20 percent from last year.” Since 1986, the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) has conducted a Thanksgiving meal survey. The 2021 survey found that a meal for 10 people was expected to cost $53.31–up 14 percent from the 2020 average. The federation checked prices between Oct. 26 and Nov. 8 and noted that stores began selling whole frozen turkeys at a lower price two weeks later. As the meat protein most associated with Thanksgiving, the turkey is going to cost consumers 24 percent more than it did in 2020. The AFBF estimates that a 16-pound turkey will cost $23.99, or roughly $1.50 per pound more than 2020. The survey also found that the costs of other holiday goods were up as well, including dinner rolls—a 15 percent increase—while a 30-ounce can of pumpkin pie mix is up by 7 percent. “Several factors contributed to the increase in average cost of this year’s Thanksgiving dinner,” senior economist Veronica Nigh said in a statement on the AFBF website. “These include dramatic disruptions to the U.S. economy and supply chains over the last 20 months; inflationary pressure throughout the economy; difficulty in predicting demand during the COVID-19 pandemic and high global demand for food, particularly meat.  “The trend of consumers cooking and eating at home more often, due to the pandemic, led to increased supermarket demand and higher retail food prices in 2020 and 2021, compared to pre-pandemic prices in 2019.” Outside of the Winn-Dixie in Punta Gorda, Florida, Diane Crowi said food prices are definitely going up. “Our kids are all grown up, and they live out of the area, so we don’t celebrate like we used to. But, yes, things are more expensive this year than last year,” Crowi said. “We’re retired—I mean, we have Thanksgiving, just on a smaller scale. You just have to absorb the costs.” Along with increasing food costs, the price of gasoline has significantly risen as well, she said. “Gas prices are ridiculous,” Crowi said. “We just have to shift things around to afford what we have on our fixed income. We just cut down on our trips. We don’t drive as much to save fuel. “If I have to blame anyone, it would be our president—but I’m a Trump fan, so …” Winn-Dixie shopper Crystal Hunsicker of Punta Gorda said Thanksgiving is “definitely more expensive this year than last year.” Crystal Hunsicker of Punta Gorda, Fla. loads groceries into her car on Nov. 23, 2021. (Jann Falkenstern/The Epoch Times) “It affects us, but what are you going to do?” Hunsicker said. “You just deal with it. “Yes, gas is expensive, and we were energy independent before Biden took office. It takes $100 just to fill up my tank. There’s nothing I can do to save any money on fuel. I have to work, so I have to have gas.” Hunsicker said she voted for Trump in 2020 and identifies as a Republican. “I blame Biden for all of this. Trump’s policies were working, and [Biden] gets into office and destroys everything Trump put into place.” Charnita West, a single mom, looked cold in the parking lot of the Food City grocery store in Rossville, Georgia, on Nov. 23. In 2021, feeding her three children a Thanksgiving dinner has been more expensive than usual, she said. Crystal Hunsicker of Punta Gorda, Fla. loads groceries into her car on Nov. 23, 2021. (Jann Falkenstern/The Epoch Times) Her shopping wasn’t over with, either. The previous night, she had spent three hours at Walmart looking for some items, but couldn’t find everything that she needed. “I can’t even find ham. It took a lot of digging to find ham,” West told The Epoch Times. For West, spending $80 on groceries is a lot, and rising gas and food prices have hurt her family, she said. West said she’s heard that food inflation was caused by the Biden administration, but she admitted that she knows little about politics. She’s currently working on getting her high school diploma. “I don’t pay much attention to presidential stuff,” she said. “I’m just trying to do better or get my daughters a better life.” Another Thanksgiving shopper, Don Weathers, said that prices on everything have risen. Don Weathers shops for Thanksgiving dinner at the Food City grocery store in Rossville, Ga., on Nov. 23, 2021. (Jackson Elliott-The Epoch Times) “I don’t know what it is,” he said. “The beef has gone up. Turkeys and ham, pork, and everything else.” Weathers said the situation has affected his family little because his children are adults, but he feels concerned about others. “I fear for the other people,” he told The Epoch Times. “They’ve got children and are trying to raise them.” Weathers, a Republican who voted for Trump in 2020, said he didn’t want to say whether Trump or Biden was responsible for the inflation. Once a Democrat, he said he left the party because it offered handouts in an irresponsible way. “The Democratic Party is not what it was 20 years ago,” he said. Political independent Edward Garrett agreed with Weathers and West about the rising prices that were changing his budget. “Everything impacts the budget,” he said. “You just got to make it happen. You got to do what you got to do. Just squeeze and tighten what you can.” Edward Garrett searches for groceries for Thanksgiving dinner at the Food City grocery store in Rossville, Ga., on Nov. 23, 2021. (Jackson Elliott-The Epoch Times) Garrett blamed the Trump administration for the inflation issues. He said the effects of a president’s policies usually hit months after the person leaves office. “It is what it is,” he told The Epoch Times. “You’ve got to take the bitter with the sweet.” Long-time grocer Jeff Durecka, who owns a couple of supermarkets known as Jeff’s Marketplace in the “Thumb Area” of Michigan, said the supply chain issues aren’t affecting him much. “If we are short on a certain brand, we have substitutes,” Durecka, a Democrat and a strong supporter of Joe Biden in 2020. “It’s not affecting us much. As you can see, we are pretty well stocked for Thanksgiving. “Wholesale prices are going up because of the cost of fuel. It takes fuel to get product to the warehouses and then to the stores. There’s really nothing we can do about it.” Durecka speculated that the rise in food and fuel prices may have something to do with the different administration in Washington. Shopper Dean Rydock of Port Sanilac, Michigan, had no doubt that Biden was to blame. Dean Rydock of Port Sanilac, Michigan goes shopping at Jeff’s Marketplace in Lexington, Mich., on Nov 23, 2021.(Steven Kovac/The Epoch Times) “Everything Trump did made our living easier and better,” he said. “Biden is acting like Trump’s policies are the cause of all this and is doing whatever he can to counteract them. Food and gas prices are way up. It looks to me like decisions are being made to deliberately bring our economy down, so we will all eventually look to the government for help.” Rydock, a conservative Republican, “most definitely voted for the non-politician Trump and his pro-American agenda.” “I’m driving 100 miles to have Thanksgiving with my daughter,” he said. “The high price of gasoline is starting to pinch. And we really have to mind our heating expenses with propane going up. I’m starting to burn wood, and even that is getting costly.” Shopper Susie Lentz, a retired resident living in the village of Lexington, Michigan, is a regular customer at Jeff’s. Susie Lentz of Lexington, Michigan had no trouble getting everything she needed for Thanksgiving dinner at Jeff’s Marketplace in Lexington on Nov. 23, 2021. (Steven Kovac/The Epoch Times) “Food is definitely more expensive than last year,” she said. “I suppose the pandemic has a lot to do with it. Less stuff being shipped. But I am finding everything I want for Thanksgiving.” Lentz, a self-described independent voter, said that if she were still working and having to drive more, the high gas prices would be “putting a dent” in her budget. “I think the current political policies are affecting the economy in a negative way,” she told The Epoch Times. When asked whether Jeff’s Marketplace had enough meat and turkeys for the Thanksgiving holiday, butcher Jed Matthews said: “The only thing that has been hard to get is turkey gizzards sold separately. People love to add them to their stuffing.” Manager Jed Matthews says the only thing short in his department this Thanksgiving was “turkey gizzards sold separately” at Jeff’s Marketplace in Lexington, Mich., on Nov. 23, 2021. (Steven Kovac/The Epoch Times) The Epoch Times also spoke with a number of shoppers at Local Market in the South Shore neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago. The neighborhood is predominately African American and has a median household income that is almost half of the city average. Ruth Shannon said that she used to help local nonprofit New Life Center give away turkeys during the Thanksgiving holiday every year, but not this time. The center decided to cancel the giveaway in 2021 because of the high prices, she said. Shannon said she used to spend less than $100 on gas every month. Now, as prices rise, she spends around $200. “I know where I go. I’m more strategic with how I travel for sure,” she told The Epoch Times. Shannon said she thinks that inflation is the unintended consequence of massive government spending during the pandemic. “It was a lot of money over a fairly short period of time. They could have stretched it out,” she said. “Lawmakers have to be more intentional about the policies they create.” A lot of people in her neighborhood received stimulus checks during the pandemic, but they didn’t know how to spend the money in the right way, according to Shannon. Ruth Shannon of Chicago says prices for Thanksgiving day dinner ingredients are up this year as she stands outside of the Local Market in Chicago on Nov. 23. (Cara Ding/The Epoch Times) “It is one thing to have money. It’s a whole other thing to know what to do with it,” she said. “Everybody was happy when they got the stimulus checks. Now, the money’s gone and prices are up. What do they do?” Shannon hasn’t voted for most of her life. Her community has remained the same whether a Democrat or Republican was in office, she said. “I do whatever I can to volunteer in the community,” she said. “That is my voting.” Beverly, who declined to give her last name, was another shopper at Local Market. She said the rising food prices have further limited her grocery shopping because she lives on fixed government aid. She lost her daycare job at the start of the pandemic. She has since gone on food stamps and unemployment aid. Because the gas prices are much higher in Illinois, she drives to Indiana whenever she needs to fill up. A few other shoppers told The Epoch Times that they, too, drive to Indiana for gas. And across the United States, gas and diesel prices continue to be on the rise. According to the Energy Information Administration, the cost of a gallon of regular gasoline on the East Coast was $3.39 on Nov. 22—up by about $1.29 from the same time in 2020. In the Midwest, the average cost of gas at the pumps was $3.19, an increase of $1.28. On the West Coast, however, gas is currently at $4.19, an increase of $1.42 compared to 2020. Tyler Durden Thu, 11/25/2021 - 18:09.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 25th, 2021