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Thought for the day
"Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle. The real extent of this state of misinformation is known only to those who are in situations to confront facts within their knowledge with the lies of the day. I really look with commiseration over the great body of my fellow citizens, who, reading newspapers, live and die in the belief that they have known something of what has been passing in the world." -- Thomas Jefferson, to John Norvell, June 14, 1807
As Americans struggle to keep afloat with preventable inflation, Democrat politicians are voting to make gas prices even higher in the United States.
Under the Trump administration, the Keystone Pipeline was being developed, which would have provided Americans with lower energy costs.
Once Joe Biden took office, he quickly shut that down and threw the country into a tailspin with the help of several other Democrats. Instead, Biden has decided to increase business deals with Saudi Arabia and import from other countries.
Democrats were given the chance to help the American people, but voted unanimously to keep a gas tax Republicans tried to get rid of.
People love the digital revolution. It allows them to work from home and avoid stressful commutes and office politics. The young love their cell phones that connect them to the world. For writers the Internet offers, for now, a far larger audience than a syndicated columnist could obtain. But while we enjoy and delight in its advantages, the tyranny inherent in the digital revolution is slowly closing its grip on our lives.
Use a gender pronoun or doubt an official narrative and you are blocked from social media. The same corporations that are required by federal law to send us annual statements on how they protect our privacy also track our use of the Internet in order to build marketing profiles of us. The FBI, CIA, and NSA track our use of the Internet to identify possible terrorists, school shooters, drug operations, and foreign agents. Face identification cameras now exist on the streets of some cities. DNA data bases are being built. It goes on and on.
In China the digital revolution has made possible a social credit system. People are monitored about what they say, what they read online, how they behave, where they go. The profile that results determines the person’s rights or privileges. A person who hangs out with the wrong crowd, criticizes the government, misbehaves, drives too fast, drinks too much, has a poor school or work attendance record might be denied a driving license, a passport, university admission, or could have access to bank account limited or blocked.
Early last week, President Joe Biden announced that the United States had killed al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in Kabul, Afghanistan. The news initially sparked widespread media attention, but in the end it came and went with relatively little fanfare, especially for the death of a long-time American enemy with a $25 million bounty on his head.
Perhaps the most telling aspect of the announcement (and the discourse that followed) was what was left unsaid. Despite the fact that Biden ran for president in part on restoring the “rules-based international order,” he made no effort to justify the attack under international law, and most news coverage has failed to even touch on the issue.
On the surface, the strike left relatively little to complain about. It was remarkably precise, killing only Zawahiri, and, for many analysts, it proved that America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan would not hinder its ability to conduct precise counter terror missions.
But experts say the killing lacks legal justification and shows that Biden has bought into one of the most pernicious ideas driving the past two decades of U.S. policy: Washington can and should use force wherever it sees fit, even if that means twisting international law beyond recognition. This is in many ways the underlying logic for America’s globe-spanning military presence, according to experts who spoke with Responsible Statecraft. Worse, it erodes international law, allowing other states to justify all sorts of questionable actions outside their borders.
There were “terrible flaws” in Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials — and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) knew it, according to Alexandra Latypova, a former pharmaceutical industry executive who reviewed nearly 700 pages of documents Moderna submitted to the FDA as part of its application process.
Latypova, who has 25 years of experience in pharmaceutical research and development, started a number of successful companies — primarily focused on creating and reviewing clinical trials.
On a recent episode of “RFK Jr. The Defender Podcast,” she told Kennedy what she learned after reviewing the Moderna documents, obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request.
Latypova told Kennedy that out of nearly 700 pages, about 400 pages are irrelevant studies that Moderna repeated multiple times.
Moderna also submitted three versions of a single module, she said. And one module contained only narrative summaries of Moderna’s studies, but no actual study results.
Top Democratic congressional leaders had very different reactions to this week’s bombshell news that FBI agents raided the home of former President Donald Trump in Florida.
The White House is refusing to answer accusations that the Biden administration has weaponized the Justice Department.
Republicans levied the charge after the FBI raided Mar-a-Lago in search of purportedly classified documents and other items related to the Presidential Records Act.
Trump's attorneys and others, like former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, have postulated the aggressive nature of the raid suggests the Justice Department is after Trump for something else.
Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) is demanding that the Canadian government holds Israel accountable for its unprovoked and aggressive war against Gaza this weekend, which killed at least 44 Palestinians. Canada has not commented on Israel’s actions except to support Israel’s right to security, ignoring Israel’s pattern of deliberately targeting civilians in airstrikes – in what clearly amount to war crimes. CJPME urges Canada to end Israel’s impunity and deter future violence, including by ending military trade with Israel.
“Canadians are appalled and deeply embarrassed by Canada’s refusal to condemn Israel’s attacks against civilians in Gaza,” said Michael Bueckert, Vice President of CJPME. “If Canada fails hold Israel accountable for its pattern of deliberately bombing civilian targets, it will embolden further Israeli aggression and encourage its wanton disregard for international law,” added Bueckert.
Over a period of three days starting on Friday, August 5, Israeli airstrikes deliberately targeted civilian infrastructure across Gaza, including residential towers. At least 44 Palestinians were killed, including 16 children, and more than 350 were injured. Due to lack of fuel, Gaza’s only power plant shut down, leaving people with only 4 hours of electricity per day. In response to Israeli attacks, Islamic Jihad militants fired hundreds of rockets into Israel, but no Israeli causalities have been reported. This was the most serious violence since Israel’s 11-day offensive on Gaza in May 2021, which killed at least 240 Palestinians, 63% of which were civilians, and injured 1,968.
Why has there been almost no coverage of what was taking place at the same time multi-millionaire Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was visiting Taiwan?
Consider what is being said, as well as what is totally omitted, in the U.S. coverage of China’s naval action around Taiwan.
The U.S. naval command RIMPAC (Rim of the Pacific Amphibious Assault Training) was carrying out maneuvers involving 170 aircraft, 38 ships, four submarines, and 25,000 military personnel from all the G7 imperialist countries. Some 19 other Asia Pacific countries were pulled in for symbolic participation. RIMPAC is the world’s largest international maritime exercise.
This aggressive maritime action took place from June 29 to Aug. 4. In other words, it was going on as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was visiting Taiwan.
The shaping of information is all pervasive. Whether it is FOX News, CNN, AP, the New York Times or the Washington Post, the multibillion-dollar media are part of and totally intertwined with U.S. military industries. They collaborate in hiding U.S. war plans and provocations.
The role of the corporate media in totally distorting the news on China must be challenged.
Deep below the tangled roots of the old-growth sagebrush of Thacker Pass, in an extinct super-volcano, lies one of the world’s largest deposits of lithium—a key element for the transition to clean energy. But above ground, a cluster of tents has risen in the Northern Nevada desert where, for eight months, environmental and tribal activists are protesting plans to mine it for “green” technologies.
“We are not leaving until this project is canceled,” said Max Wilbert, of the Protect Thacker Pass campaign. “If need be, this will come down to direct action. We mean to put ourselves in between the machines and this place.”
Plans to dig for the element known as “white gold” have encountered a surge of resistance from tribes, ranchers, residents and activists who say they believe the repercussions of the mine will outweigh the lithium’s contributions to the nation’s transition to less-polluting energy sources than fossil fuels.
The raid on Mar-a-Lago was based largely on information from an FBI confidential human source, one who was able to identify what classified documents former President Trump was still hiding and even the location of those documents, two senior government officials told Newsweek.
The officials, who have direct knowledge of the FBI's deliberations and were granted anonymity in order to discuss sensitive matters, said the raid of Donald Trump's Florida residence was deliberately timed to occur when the former president was away.
Webmaster addition: I smell a frame-up coming!
U.S. Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote a histrionic resignation letter to then-President Donald Trump after federal officials cleared rioters out of Lafayette Square back in the summer of 2020.
Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) rooted through the personal belongings of former first lady Melania Trump as they executed a search warrant believed to be connected to classified material that former President Donald Trump was supposed to return to the National Archives earlier this year.
The US ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, warned African countries last week not to purchase anything from Russia besides grain and fertilizer, or else they could face sanctions.
Thomas-Greenfield said during a visit to Uganda that countries could buy “Russian agricultural products, including fertilizer and wheat” but added that “if a country decides to engage with Russia, where there are sanctions, then they are breaking those sanctions.”
“We caution countries not to break those sanctions because then … they stand the chance of having actions taken against them,” she added. Thomas-Greenfield said that purchasing Russian oil risks sanctions, even though many of the US’s European allies are still buying Russian crude before a ban takes effect at the end of the year.
CBS News retracted a documentary it briefly released on Sunday after pressure from the Ukrainian government. The original documentary (watch it here) CBS put out examined the flow of military aid to Ukraine and quoted someone familiar with the process who said in April that only 30% of the arms were making it to the frontline.
“All of this stuff goes across the border, and then something happens, kind of like 30% of it reaches its final destination,” said Jonas Ohman, the founder of Blue-Yellow, a Lithuania-based organization that CBS said has been meeting with and supplying frontline units with aid in Ukraine since the start of the war in the Donbas in 2014. “30-40%, that’s my estimation,” Ohman said.
After the documentary sparked outrage from the Ukrainian government, it was removed from the internet by CBS. In an editor’s note, CBS said it changed the article that was published with the documentary and that the documentary itself was being “updated.”
Late-night host Stephen Colbert, who has spent the latter days of his career mocking former President Trump, celebrated the FBI raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, saying, “We all got the present we wanted.”
During the furor over Nancy Pelosi’s incendiary Taiwan visit last week, I was watching an appearance by Antiwar’s Dave DeCamp on the show Rising which brought up the under-discussed point that US officials going to Taipei is actually a continuation of a trend that had already been happening under the Trump administration.
DeCamp pointed out that China began regularly flying planes into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone after Trump administration officials made similar visits to Pelosi’s.
“That started happening regularly after August 2020 when President Trump sent Alex Azar to Taiwan,” DeCamp said. “He was his health secretary. He was the highest-level cabinet official to visit Taiwan since 1979. The following month, in September 2020, they sent Keith Krach. He was the undersecretary for economics in the State Department, and he was the highest-level State Department official to visit Taiwan since 1979. So these are unprecedented steps, and since then we’ve seen more Chinese military activity in the region.”
There was a satisfying victory—not just for our soldiers and veterans, but for all Americans.
One week ago it was announced that the U.S. government had assassinated Ayman al-Zawahiri, who along with Osama bin Laden and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was the key planner behind the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
The butcher of New York City was killed by a CIA drone strike while on his apartment’s balcony in Kabul, Afghanistan. The Biden administration maintains there were no civilian deaths.
There are three important lessons.
Before turning towards international terrorism, Dr. Zawahiri was an Egyptian surgeon who was tortured by U.S. ally Hosni Mubarak following the assassination of Anwar Sadat by the group “Egyptian Jihad” in 1981.
Russia claims the US provoked the Kremlin with a request to inspect Moscow’s nuclear weapons under the New Start treaty. The Kremlin recently announced it was suspending American inspections because Western sanctions were preventing Russians from implementing checks on US nukes.
On Monday, the Kremlin revealed it would no longer allow Americans to verify Russia is following the New Start treaty in a retaliatory move. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov explained Moscow’s decision, saying the US requested to inspect Russia’s weapons knowing Western sanctions would prevent Russian inspectors from viewing US weapons.
After Russia invaded Ukraine in February, the US responded with several rounds of sanctions, including travel bans on many Russian officials. Moscow claims those travel bans are preventing Russia from inspecting American nuclear weapons.
For many in Gaza, news of a truce between Israel and the Islamic Jihad after the most serious round of violence in just over a year was bittersweet.
As families aired laundry on blasted walls and sifted through the rubble to salvage whatever documents and furniture they could find, others laid their loved ones to rest.
"My life ended when he was martyred," said Najwa Abu Hamada, 45, whose 19 year-old son Khalil was killed when he went out into the street outside their home and a car was hit. Her only child, he was born after 12 years of marriage and five failed IVF attempts.
Russia launched an Iranian satellite into orbit on Tuesday from southern Kazakhstan, just three weeks after President Vladimir Putin and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei pledged to work together against the West.
The remote Khayyam sensing satellite, named after the 11th Century Persian poet and philosopher Omar Khayyam, was launched by a Russian Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and entered orbit successfully, Russia's space agency said.
Iran's space agency has received the first telemetry data sent from the satellite, the official IRNA news agency said.
Tehran has rejected claims the satellite could be used by Moscow to boost its intelligence capabilities in Ukraine, saying Iran will have full control and operation over it "from day one."
From time to time, the military leaves the confines of its installations and conducts training exercises on public grounds. Something like the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare School’s Robin Sage training exercise, where Special Forces students spend weeks roaming around 21 different North Carolina counties, practicing on unconventional warfare tactics.
This week, the mock battleground is apparently San Antonio, Texas, where U.S. Army Special Operations Command is conducting a training exercise in the city’s downtown area that began Monday evening.
According to a release from the San Antonio Police Department, which went out on Sunday evening, it consists of “air and ground mobility operations and close-quarter combat training to enhance soldiers’ skills by operating in a realistic environment.”
Residents were advised that they may “hear low-flying helicopters, simulated gunfire and controlled explosions during periods of darkness.”
The truth always has a way of leaking out, doesn’t it? No matter how hard you try to suppress it with fake news and phony puff pieces, and piles of propaganda, it always finds its way out. And speaking of that, the truth about Fauci is on full display, especially how people really feel about this scumbag. Gone are the days when everyone “fawned” over Fauci, and he was pictured on magazine covers, lounging by his pool, or sitting at his computer, surrounded by “Fauci Bobbleheads.” Now, we can clearly see and hear how Americans feel about the little worm, even in deep blue liberal cities, like Seattle.
Fauci was being “honored” at the Mariners game, and he threw out the first pitch. Let’s just say, he got a less than warm welcome from the crowd. He actually got the welcome he deserved, although, even though he got booed and heckled, some dopes still clapped for him. I guess it’s hard for some people to admit they were wrong.
American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten has been dialing up the political rhetoric as children across the country get ready for another school year. Ms. Weingarten hit on just about everything at the latest union conference.
Everything, that is, except for the actual issue of educating America’s children. It seems odd for someone who claims to care so deeply for the intellectual growth of the next generation of leaders.
Not so odd for those of us parents who are used to the teacher’s unions caring more about political clout than our kids’ education. Not sure continuing to drive a wedge between parents and teachers based on political affiliation is a sustainable tactic. It motivates parents to speak out against the public education system and the unions that manipulate them.
Amidst record inflation, global economic instability, and large portions of Americans reporting that they deeply distrust their government, some lawmakers are taking advantage of this opportunity to pounce and seize more control of our day to day lives.
One particularly insidious idea gaining steam is the completely digital dollar.
According to an exclusive interview with The Wall Street Journal, a bipartisan group of legislators led by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) (yes, her) are continuing to lobby the Federal Reserve to advocate for the creation of a digital dollar in order to compete with China’s digital yuan, which they claim will threaten the dollar’s standing as the global reserve currency.
Representative Scott Perry, an ally of former Donald Trump and the current chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, says the FBI seized his cellphone a day after the unprecedented raid by agents on the Mar-a-Lago home of the former President.
The raid had reportedly involved an investigation into the handling of classified documents that may have been brought to Trump’s Palm Beach residence.
But the confiscation of Perry’s phone creates new questions as to the FBI’s intent, as the Pennsylvania Republican has been an ally of the former President in his quest to promote unproven election fraud claims, making him a target of the January 6 House select committee.
During the passage of Joe Biden’s ‘Inflation Increasing Reduction Act’ in the Senate Sunday, all 50 Democrats voted against an amendment that sought to define pregnancy as a uniquely biologically female process.
The amendment was introduced by GOP Senator Marco Rubio, who noted “The only people capable of being pregnant are biological females, and therefore, I think federal pregnancy programs should be limited to biological females, and that’s what this would do.”
“A few minutes ago, I looked back across 5,500 years of human history, and so far, every single human pregnancy has been biological female,” Rubio continued.
The Senator further stated “And therefore, the only thing I’m trying to do is make sure that federal law is clear, since every pregnancy that’s ever existed has been in a biological females, and that our federal laws reflect that pregnancy programs are available to the only people who are capable of getting pregnant: biological females.”
The FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago has unleashed a familiar euphoria among critics who have longed for–agents descending upon the President’s residence in a criminal operation. One MSNBC pundit declared that day of the “orange jumpsuit” may finally be at hand while another simply exclaimed “hallelujah.” It was a tad premature since we do not even know if classified material was found and, if so, whether there is a criminal case to be made from such a discovery.
I previously testified in Congress on the earlier seizure of the boxes at Mar-a-Lago under the Presidential Records Act and how criminal prosecutions have been rare under the law. Nevertheless, criminal charges are possible, including under Section 2071 which states that anyone can be prosecuted who “willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates or destroys … any record, proceeding, map, book, paper, document, or other thing, filed or deposited … in any public office.” That crime, however, requires a showing of not just negligence but that “an act is … done voluntarily and intentionally and with the specific intent to do something the law forbids.”
Notably, even the most serious cases of mishandling classified records have not resulted in major charges. One example is that of former Clinton National Security Adviser Sandy Berger who was found to have secretly stuffed classified material into his pants and socks to remove them from a secure facility. He then hid them in a spot to be retrieved later. It was a flagrant and premeditated violation of federal law and put national security secrets at risk. Yet, Berger was allowed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor and did not have to serve any jail time. Indeed, his security clearance was suspended for only three years.
However, critics were not particularly interested in whether Trump might have some suspended misdemeanor sentence. Rather, even before learning if any evidence of criminal conduct was found, critics turned to the ability to use the charge to disqualify Trump from future office. Section 2071 has excited the imagination of such critics because of a line that states that a convicted party can “be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both; and shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States.”